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A 9 9 Media 
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A MUST 



FOR EVERY 



TECHNOLOGY 



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YOUR TECHNOLOGY NAVIGATOR 









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THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE MADE US INDIA'S #1 
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An anniversary to remember 




Robert Sovereign-Smith 
Editor 



"In a way, I 

suppose, there's 

a little Agent 001 

in all of us" 




For the past few months, we've been 
really pleased with the responses 
we've got on our I Think Green page 
(www.facebool<.com/ithinl<green). Although 
it's still early days, and we certainly hope even 
more of you will join us there, it was heart- 
ening to see so many thousands of people 
wanting to help reduce the impact we humans 
are having on the planet. In a poll we con- 
ducted, the majority felt that we should try 
and increase the green cover around us. This 
got us thinking, and we decided that now was 
the time for actions, not words and pledges 
that very few of us actually follow through on. 

If the community wanted to plant more 
trees, then Digit was going to do everything 
it could to help you achieve that goal. 

Each one of you has received a packet of 
seeds along with this anniversary issue, and 
all you need to do is plant the seeds, take a 
little bit of trouble to water them regularly 
for a few weeks until they grow into saplings, 
and you'll be on your way to giving back what 
you're taking from the planet. 

We're happy to be enabling this change, and 
hope to see lakhs of trees planted and grown 
by the community. What's most promising 
about this initiative is that it was something 
that came from you, and will succeed, if you 
work towards it and dedicate just a few min- 
utes a day to see it through. 

That's what this anniversary issue is all 
about - you, the person reading this. You're 
a member of one of the most influential com- 
munities in the country. And I'm not exag- 
gerating either. You are tech savvy, educated 
and generally a thought leader. 

While reading through the hundreds of 
Digit Idol applications, we were ecstatic to 
see the sheer diversity of the applicants. From 
CEOs of companies to those just about to 
embark on a career, from the retired to children 
as young as five or six, and professionals from 
all walks of life - doctors, lawyers, salesmen, 
coders, financial analysts... 

We even asked a few of you who have 
contacted us before via email, the forum or 
on Facebook, to send in videos and pictures 
of yourselves. Since you've already seen the 
cover, you now know what we did with the 



pictures. In the Community DVD you will 
find a video of what our cover would look 
like if it were interactive, with messages from 
some of you. 

There's also a reason why all of your pic- 
tures make up Agent 001 on the cover. We 
felt that he was the perfect representation 
of our community. He never seems to age, 
because there's no age limit when it comes 
to tech enthusiasts. He's learning new things 
everyday, and may not know everything, but 
certainly has the enthusiasm to continue 
absorbing information. He often starts new 
trends, or points out easier ways to accom- 
plish tasks. He's informed and opinionated, 
but never biased, and his peers approach him 
for tech advice. In a way, I suppose, there's a 
little Agent 001 in all of us, and that's what 
we wanted to depict on the cover. 

Our DIY and Ethical Hacking Fast Tracks 
follow on the same lines, and were the most 
demanded of all Fast Track topics. The Com- 
munity DVD has the software and applications 
that you demanded, and even features some 
that were created by you. 

What I'm getting at is that we decided that 
our ninth anniversary was not just about Digit, 
or cause for celebration just for those who 
work here. There was no point blowing our 
own trumpet because it's you who we have to 
thank for our longevity. Although, every issue 
of Digit is made/or you, we're hoping that this 
one will be more special because it's made by 
you. Or rather, by us, but based solely on your 
feedback of what it is you wanted. 

In order to make this issue even more spe- 
cial, we're giving away Rs. 4 crore in gifts and 
prizes, and have made sure that each and every 
one of you is guaranteed to win something. 
And of course a few lucky ones will win even 
more... Then there's the much demanded Crack 
The Code II contest, which starts, quite fit- 
tingly, on the Community pages. 

I hope you enjoy this issue as much as we've 
enjoyed putting it together for you. Enjoy! EH 




editor@thinkdigit.com 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.com 



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On cloud 9 

Team Digit strilces a pose for tlie 
9th Anniversary celebrations 



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June 2010 • Volume 10 • Issue 06 



diSit 



thinkdii9it 



com 



Managing Director 
Dr Pramath Raj Sinha 
Printer and Publisher 
Kanak Ghosh 
Publishing Director 
Asheesh Gupta 

Editorial 

Editor 

Robert Sovereign-Smith 

Editor-at-large and Online Architect 

Ahmed Shaikh 

Head - Copy Desk 

Nash David 

Writers Aditya Madanapalle, 

Siddharth Parwatay 

Test Centre 

Mgr - Test Development and Sourcing 

Michael Browne 

Mgr - Testing and Processes 

Rossi Fernandes 

Trainee Reviewer Nimish Sawant 

Product co-ordinator Shweta Mali 

Interns Arpita Kapoor, Mohit Rangaraju 



IMultimedia 

Project Head Robert Sovereign-Smith 
Content Head Aditya Madanapalle 

Design 

Sr Creative Director Jayan Narayanan 

Art Director Binesh Sreedharan 

Associate Art Director Anil VK 

Lead Designer Vijay Padaya 

Manager Design Chander Shekhar 

Sr Visualisers PC Anoop, 

Santosh Kushwaha 

Sr Designers TR Prashanth, Anil T, NV Baiju 

Sr. Photographer Jiten Gandhi 

Production and Logistics 

Sr. GM - Operations 

Shivshankar Hiremath 

Production Executive Rakesh Upadhyay, Vilas Mhatre 



Asst. Mgr Vijay Menon 

Executives M P Singh, Mohd. Nadeem Ansari, 

Shashi Shekhar Singh 

Sales and Marlceting 

Vice President Naveen Chand Singh 
Product Manager Navneet Miglani 
Manager - Product Marketing 
Chandan Kumar Singh 
Assistant Brand Manager Arpita Ganguli 
Co-ordinator / Scheduling Kishan Singh 

Circulation and Subscription 

Regional Managers Jayanta Bhattacharyya, 
Norbert Joseph, Samir Mehta 
Co-ordinator Vijay Mhatre 

Customer Service (Helpdesli) 

Prerana, Poornima, Itishree, Pinky 
+91-22-4078 9612/13/14 

To advertise 

South: Vinodh Kaliappan 
Email: vinodh. k(a)9dot9. in 
Mobile: +91-97407 14817 
Phone: +91-80-2554 6370/73 
Fax: +91-80-4151 8330 

West: Sachin Mhashilkar 
Email: sachin. m@9dot9. in 
Mobile: +91-99203 48755 
Phone: +91-22-2437 2214/19 
Fax: +91-22-2448 2059/1123 

East: Jayanta Bhattacharyya 
Email: jayanta. bhattacharyya@9dot9. in 
Phone: +91-93318 29284 
+91-33-2231 7344/46 

North: Lalit Arun 

Email: lalit.arun(a)9dot9.in 

Mobile: +91-95822 62959 

International: Navin Chand Singh 
Email: nc.singh@9dot9.in. 
Mobile: +91-99717 94688 

Cover design 

PC Anoop 



The Digit Community Advisory Council 


Ejaz Ashraf 


Natraj Kadur 


Anuvrat Parashar 


Mayur Gaikwad 


Rohan Mathew 


Dipankar Saha 


Bhuveneshwar Gupta 


Amitabh Mishra 


Dilip Sanghvi 


Prashant Josh! 


Abhineet Mittal 


Suvra Sarkar 


Romin Josh! 


Dev Mukerjee 


Arun Srirannan 



Disclaimer 

For every Digit contest, there will be only one winner, unless specified otherwise. 
In the event of a dispute, the Editor's decision shall be final. 



Published, Printed and Owned by Nine Dot Nine Interactive Pvt. Ltd. Published and printed on their behalf 
by Kanak Ghosh. Published at KPT House, Plot 41/13, Sector 30, Vashi (Near Sanpada Railway Station), 
Navi Mumbai 400 703, Phone: +91-22-4078 9666, Fax: +91-22-4078 9540, +91-22-4078 9640. Printed at 
Silverpoint Press Pvt. Ltd, Plot No. A, 403, MIDC, TTC Industrial Area,Mahape, Navi Mumbai 400709 
Editor: Anuradha Das Mathur, C/o KPT House, Plot 41/13, Sector 30, Vashi (Near Sanpada Railway Station), 
Navi Mumbai 400 703 



PRODUCTS REVIEWED THIS MONTH 



BAZAAR 64 

AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition 

Asus Maximus III Extreme 

Canon EOS 550D 

Cooler Master NotePal Ul 

Dragon Naturally Speaking Preferred 10 

Epson PictureMate PM310 

Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D Wl 

Galaxy GeForce GT240 

Gigabyte GA P55A UD7 

HP Pavillion dm3 1005AX 

Igloo 5710 Plus Silent (E) 

Lian Li PC-A77F 

Logitech G13 

Logitech Performance Mouse M950 

Razer Destructor 

Razer Megalodon 

Razer Orochi 

Sparkle GeForce 210 

TAG Z-626 

WD My Passport Studio 640 GB 

WD VelociRaptor 600 GB 

Zebronics Invader 

Zotac GeForce GTX 470 



CELLPHONE COMPARISON TEST. 

Apple iPhone 3GS 32GB 

Blackberry Bold 9000 

Blackberry Bold 9700 

Blackberry Curve 8520 

Blackberry Curve 8900 

Blackberry Tour 9630 

Garmin ASUS Nuvifone MIO 

HTC Smart 

LG BL40 

LG GC900 Viewty Smart 

LG GT505 

LG GW550 

Motorola Milestone 

Nokia 5800 

Nokia 6700 

Nokia E72 

Nokia N97 Mini 

Samsung B7610 OmniaPro 

Samsung GT-B5310 Corby Pro 

Samsung GT-S5620 Monte 

Samsung 18000 Omnia II 

Sony Ericsson Aino 

Sony Ericsson Naite 

Sony Ericsson Satio 

Sony Ericsson Vivaz 

Sony Ericsson W995 

Sony Ericsson Yari 

Sony Ericsson Xperia XIO 



HDTV TEST 

Haier LB32R3 
LG 42LH60YR 
LG 47LH50YR 
MoserBaer MBIK32HD 
Onida 32 Diamond Kyrock 
Sharp LC40L50M 
Sony 40NX500 
VU LC 46V69PIR 



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Tell us what you feel about Digit 

If you have an opinion about anything published in Digit, or about 
technology in general, please write to editor@thinkdigit.com 



Product testing 

Want your product reviewed by Digit? Contact our Test Center at 
testcenter@thinkdigit.com 

Phone: +91-22-4078 9506/08/60, 



Software on the DVDs 

To submit and suggest software or any other type of content, 
to be included in the Digit DVDs, write to dvd@thinkdigit.com 

Phone: +91-22-4078 9501 



Help! 

For subscriptions, copy- related issues, delivery status, 

or complaints of any sort, regarding our services send an email to 

help@thinkdigit.com 

Phone: +91-22-4078 9612/14 
Endorsements / reprints 

Interested in ordering article reprints, or using our logos? 
Get the requisite permissions by contacting us at 
reprint@thinkdigit.com 



Business enquiries 

For any business-related enquiries, contact 
business@thinkdigit.com 



News and new product launches 

To announce new product launches, and press releases, 
email us at pressrelease@thinkdigit.com 



Q&A 

If you're having trouble with your PC or a gadget, 

our experts can help solve your problems. Just write in to 

sos@thinkdigit.com 

Remember to include full system configurations in your mails 

AgentOOl 

Our very own secret agent will give you the low down on what 
to buy, from where, and for how much. Send in all your buying 
advice questions to the coolest agent ever. 
agent001@thinkdigit.com 



Interact with Team Digit 



thinkdigit.com/twitter 



facebook 



thinkdigit.com/facebook 

YoufOS 

thinl<digit.com/youtube 



f^aGiipShup 

SMS Digit 

to 567678 

thinkd\9\i 

thinkdigit.com/forum 



Digit JVlini 

Don't miss your Last opportunity to 

secure this coLLector's booklet. Subscribe 

before June 30, 2010 








uiyit"^'"' 


^^^B^^^i|£r "^^ "^ '^P'^^ l^^^l 









I THINK 



Make a difference, sow seeds of 
conservation, save our planet, and reap 

a greenerfuture. Nurture the Digit Tree. 
For more details, visit 

www.facebook.com/ithinkgreen 











Crack the code 

Invert the page number you used 
to come to this page, round off to 
the nearest multiple of 5, divide 
the number by 10, and double 
it. Flip to that page for the next 
clue. 




Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.conn 



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ypU^TEmV- ISSUE 06 



QUICK 

NAVIGATOR 



010 ENTER 

Inbox 
Buzz 

020 CONNECTIONS 

Web Watch 
Mobile Watch 

028 DIGITAL LIFE 

Drool Maal 

Geek life 

Open Source People 

048 SCI-TECH 

How stuff Works 
From the Labs 

058 TOOLBOX 

Q&A 

Tips and Tricks 



118 STREET 
^^^ SMART 

Agent 001 
Killer Rigs 
Price Watch 
Consumer 
Protection 

126 TECH@WORK 

Work@Tech 
Developer corner 

138 ESC 

Unwind 
Community 
Digit 101 



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i»t>"HSt^lf»o»©P>t ^ I 

Celebrating You "^i 

THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE MADE US INDIA'S #1 
FOR 9 CONSECUTIVE YEARS »a 




n 



i High-end 

cellphones tested 

^asted: the hottest and Latest 
cell phones to hit the market 




076 
CANON 
EOS 550D 



A look at one 
of the coolest 
enthusiast dSLR cameras 
around 






080 

ZOTAC GEFORCE 

GTX470I 



The GTX4xx keep flowing in 



084 
LOGITECH G13 



Latest game controller geared 
for war 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.com 





O..T.e ^^ POSSpeop. 







ON THE DVD 



028 

Drool Maal 

Drool over some of the coolest gadgets and gizmos 



030 Digit Idol 

Spotlight on the biggest and gre 

033 Digit Tree 



Spotlight on the biggest and greatest Digit fans 



Go green by helping the environment with our Digit Tree 
initiative. Join the Digit community and plant some trees! 




50 to 



i^ap" HDTV test 

■ LV^ "MM^ Some of the latest high- 
Read about the 50 best apps definition TV models in 
for your mobile phone no the market put to the test 
matter what the platform 



FREEWARE, 
'^flflfl- LECTURES, 

OlzJII VIDEOS, MUSIC, ^ 

r^\ #K HD TRAILERS 
UVU AND MORE 



Community 



D CONTENT 

CREATED BY JVIEMBERS OF THE 



DIGIT COMMUNITY 



• Chrome Lock 

• Digit Archive in AJAX 

• Free PDF Reader 

• iPad video review 

• Motion Graphics Demo 

• NeatDigit forum 2.69 
•PDF OCR 

• The Search Man 

• TheAwsmPlayer 

• TheCalcMan 

• TheLetterEncrypter 2.0 

• Think Digit Toolbar vl.07 

• Win 7 Aero Blur Tweaker 
•Win 7 Battery Bar 

• Win 7 DreamScene Activator 

• Win 7 Desktop Button Remover 

• Win 7 Start Button Animator 

• Win 7 Start Button Changer 

• Win 7 Taskbar Thumbnail 
Customizer 

• Windows Theme Installer 

Hacking 

•XULRunner 1.9.2 

• Windows PowerShell 2.0 

• Cygwin 1.75-1 

• Sysinternals Suite 

• BartPE 
•UPX3.05 

• RainbowCrack 
•FSCrack vl.0.1 
•Galletavl.O 

• MilwOrm 
•Fportv2.0 

• Attacker v3.0 
•File Watch vl.O 
•IPv4Tracevl.O 
•BOPingv2.0 



Virus Alert! 

The Hacking section in the 
Play ware DVD and the Devel- 
oper section in the Community 

DVD have software that your 
Anti Virus software will warn 

you about (UPX, milOworm 

etc). Do not worry, these are 
not viruses. Choose the Ignore 
option if there is one, or report 

alert as a false positive if you 
are bothered by the false alert. 



Linux Distros 



A SELECTION OF DISTROS 
FOR DESKTOPS, OFFICES AND ' 



PENETRATION TESTING 



•Ubuntu 10.04 LTS 32 Bit 

• Ubuntu 10.04 LTS 64 Bit 
•NimbleX 2010 Beta 

• OPHcrack XP livecd 2.3.1 
•OWASPLiveCD 
•Pentoo 2009.0 
•Operator 3.3.20 

•PC OS Linux 2010 

By Demand 



SOFTWARE DEMANDED BY MEMBERS 
OF THE DIGIT FORUMS 



• SUPER © v2010.build.38 

• Photoscape 3.4 

• Clonespy 2.51 
•Cuterank2.61 

• Autodesk 3D Studio Max 2011 

• Autodesk Maya 2011 

• Anime Studio Pro 6 



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Is 3D photography really the future? 






Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.com 



Inbox 



Sennheiser founder dies 

Fritz Sennheiser, founder of Sennheiser 
Electronic passed away at the age of 98 



CRACK THE CODE 

4 The monicker of a famous 
iPhone cracker in plain English 



^ I am an avid reader of your magazine 
and it is awesome. Well, I really liked 
the May issue of yours and the Bazaar 
reviews. Nice to see the iPad review 
exclusively in your mag. I have a long 
awaited request and perhaps complaint. 
Why didn't you provide the PDFs of 
your Fast Track issues of 2009? No, I 
didn't recognised it late but I was just 
waiting for the right time to complain 
about it and its the right time. Now your 
anniversary issue is coming so please 
provide them in the DVDs and also 
provide some awesome game wallpa- 
pers. Yes, I know I am spamming your 
inbox with this request but you don't 
provide them at all and if you do you do 
that in very few amount. Keep it up and 
make the magazine better than best. 

Abhishek Anand 

^Yes, you guessed right, it is the 
perfect time to come up with this 
particular complaint. You will find 
all the 2009 Fast Tracks in the Com- 
munity DVD. Keep writing in! 

Aditya 

^ I am a B.Tech graduate in CSE. I have 
been reading your magazine for past six 
years but in the beginning I used to buy 
just 2 - 3 issues a year depending upon 
my needs. But now, I am a regular reader 
of Digit from the past year and I have not 
missed even a single issue from then. I am 
a big fan of your magazine because of the 
contents you provide to us. My greatest 
interest has been in the video tutorials/ 
lectures, e-books and the various edu- 
cational materials in the DVDs. I have 
bought this month's issue too and again 
found my interesting materials which I 
just mentioned. That's commendable. The 
contents in the magazine are good too. 
These were the positives I just mentioned. 
But, there are some improvements which 
I think you should consider. There's one 
more reason why I buy your magazine 
is because of the Fast Track you provide 
with each issue, but I have been looking 
for some months that these Fast Track 
issues don't contain interesting con- 
tents as it was a year before. Earlier, you 
gave a very nice issues like Tech Jargon, 
Registry, Web, Google, etc. and those were 




really awesome but I think now it (Fast 
Track) has started losing it's way it used 
to interest us. For example, this month 
you provided us with the iPhone Apps 
Fast Track, which may not be very much 
useful for the majority of people and may 
be interesting only for those who own the 
iPhone. So, I guess you should provide 
some interesting material in it too. 
Also, one another change I want in your 
magazine which could be useful for every 
reader is that you should not provide user 
reviews about the magazine in the front 
pages unlike your past year issues. And 
the magazine should begin with the big- 
gest news of the month in the beginning 
followed by the next in decreasing order 
of priority. 

At last, I want to say that this maga- 
zine has the potential to attract the great 
masses if you keep on doing this good 
work with of course, some improvements 
with time. 

Max Bhatia 

^ Thanks for writing in. You do not need 
to own an iPhone to develop applica- 
tions for it. We hope to make our readers 
all-rounders through our Fast Tracks, and 
so cover a diverse range of topics. This 
month, we have included two popular 
Fast Track demands with the issue. The 
DIY Fast Track is full of projects you 
can take up in your spare time, and the 



Ethical Hacking Fast Track should get you 
familiar with what hacking is and how it 
is done. We value your suggestions, and 
do write in your feedback for this issue. 

Nash 

^ You people have always done very 
good work. The reason your magazine 
has become No.l is because of your hard 
work. I was very disappointed to see 
that an advertisement on page no 115 
that states that you can spy on any using 
hacking tools that they provide. This 
is really bad since they are selling you 
the tools that are the work of viruses. 
Yes, selling malware may not be illegal 
but using it is illegal. How come your 
esteemed magazine came to advertise 
such a thing is beyond my knowledge. 
These people are selling us viruses 
and making money out of it. Also these 
people advertise about a book that 
teaches hacking, they say that they teach 
you to hack any e-mail address which 
is once again illegal. I myself have read 
Hacking Exposed, unofficial guide to 
ethical hacking etc, but none of them 
teach us anything illegal. You are the 
people who are supposed to educate 
us against these type of scams but you 
people have advertised about those 
things. Please do not advertise these 
things in your magazine. 

Kaushik 



10 



Digit I May 2010 | www.tlninl<digit.com 



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Panipat, Patiala, Patna, Pune, Raipur, Rourkela, Rudrapur, Sambalpur, Shimla, Sri Ganganagar, Surat, Thane, Trichur, Udaipur, Vapi, Varanasi, Vizag. Check out www.wrangler.in for store addresses. 



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Inbox 



CRACK THE CODE 

2 This pLatonic solid is also known as a 
regular hexahedron 



CRACK THE CODE 

6 Nanne the Indian nnathennatician who 
first described binary 



^The best way to be safe fronn hacl<ers 
is to be aware of the intricacies of how 
they work. The Ethical Hacking Fast Track 
in this issue should familiarise readers 
with the basic concepts involved. The 
Playware DVD will trigger an anti-virus 
positive, as the Hacking section has a 
few crackers, and milOwornn, which is a 
collection of over 9000 exploits. There 
are also other tools, and entire distribu- 
tions dedicated to penetration testing. 
All of this should only help you be safer 
if you are on the right side of the law. 

Siddharth 

^ Thanks for a great Fast Track on 
making iPhone apps. It was truly handy. 
But alas I don't have a Mac. 
So I tried it on a Hackintosh with Snow 
Leopard, but XCode 3.2.2 Beta doesn't 
work. It just hangs upon making a new 
project. I have bandwidth constraints and 
so cannot download latest build. I would 
be highly grateful if you include a stable 
SDK (3.1.2 or 3.2 final) in the next month's 
DVD. 

About the magazine, it is delightful 
as always but there are a lot of mistakes! 
It was unsual as I haven't seen such 
casualties at Digit. I guess you guys are 
overstressed over the June issue. So it's 
okay, but please do remember this in the 
future. 

I would like to know the legal con- 
sequences of building a Hackintosh in 
India! It works fine with WiFi, sound, 
proper resolution etc. but it has no QE/ 
CI, so no iLife or iWork. No video works 
except the MOV format and no games 
work either! 

Last but not least, a Fast Track on 
Android would be really great! It is the 
next big thing after iPhone happened 
ages ago. And since it's from Google, it 
is the best one out there! I would love to 
make apps for Android. 
Thanks and Best Wishes for a wonderful 
anniversary! 

Aurajyoti 

^ Setting up Hackintosh isn't the best 
way. Apple does not permit the instal- 
lation of Mac OS X on PCs other than 
the ones Apple developed themselves. 
Forcing it to run on incompatible hard- 



LETTER OF THE MONTH 



^ This is my first letter to you. I have 
been reading Digit for past 3-4 years (you 
would think why this guy is sending us 
mail so late). Well ,1 was thinking Digit 
is a good magazine (this was in the year 
2007), Digit is becoming good month 
by month (this was in the year 2008), 
Digit is the "best in class" (in the year 
2009) and now, I stand up and say "How 
you guys can be so good?". I can't even 
imagine how much a product can change 
itself from being good to being the best. 
First of all hats off to you guys!!!! Well, 
I am not a subscriber of Digit, but I buy 
it from the market (I am the first one 
to reach their place, shop walla bhaiya 
says "bhaiya, apko isme kya pasand ata 
hai jo aap itni besabri se iska intazaar 
karte ho" (What do you like about this 
magazine so much that you are impatient 
for it every time?), I just say "aap nahi 
samjhoge" (you won't understand). I 
wish that someday he might also be able 



to read magazines and books. I am 16+ 
and my friends in class look up to me for 
any technology related matters, or even 
buying a product. I have no complaints, 
no queries but I just want you to put 
your next Fast Track based on "C++", as I 
am a student and presently being taught 
about it in computers, I hope you will 
fulfill a small wish of mine. Congrats in 
advance for your anniversary, and hope 
to get my "best in class" magazine in the 
very 1st week of June! 



Sid 



^ Thanks for writing in to us. We 
have already come out with a Fast 
Tracl< to C++, in November 2008. 
If you can hunt down a copy of the 
December 2008 issue, you wiLL find 
the Fast Track in the DVD as weLL. 



Rossi 



ware will only result in errors and non 
functioning software. Your suggestions 
for the Android Fast Track are taken. 

Rossi 

^ I have been ordering my Digit online 
for a couple of months at my hostel's 
address and I did so in April too. The 
reason for not subscribing is my uncer- 
tain address. Out of curiosity, I started 
bugging the warden from the 1st of May. 
Seeing the May issue at a local news- 
stand on 5th of the month, while my copy 
had not yet arrived made me really anx- 
ious. I had to vacate my hostel room and 
shift to a nearby PG (cannot not go home 
because of summer project) the next day. 
Before leaving, I requested the warden 
and made sure that he would receive my 
courier. Upon enquiring, when I got a 
negative response on 12th May, I lost my 
patience and dropped a mail to help@ 
thinkdigit.com inquiring about the status. 
Same evening I received an SMS, from the 
courier company stating, that my courier 
was not delivered / accepted - including a 
number to call for further assistance . 
Since it was 7 pm (after office hours), I 
called the courier service first thing next 
morning. The information I got was hor- 
rifying, they asked me to collect it from 
their head-office (Mahipalpur, New Delhi) 
or they would send it back to Mumbai. I 



buckled up, stuffed April's issue of Digit 
(especially Digit Mini), which I had not 
been able to read completely because of 
the exams, a bottle of water and a packet 
of biscuits in my bag and set off for 
Mahipalpur. 

Although I have been living in Noida 
for 2 yrs now, I am not familiar with most 
of Delhi. I took directions from the local 
guardian and Google Maps, and reached 
the courier office by foot. 

At the courier office, I was informed, 
that after being unable make the 
delivery, the courier boy had called me 
up but my cellphone was unreachable 
and even I had tried desperately to call 
the number in that SMS. Perhaps, it 
happened so because I, a Digitan had 
to go on this 6 hour digi-venture using 
clean/green transportation modes, for 
Digit, with Digit and get a nice tale to 
write to you about, in my first-to-be- 
published letter. 

Anuvrat Parashar 

^ Ok this got us a few laughs at work, 
but travelling green is a great idea. You 
should probably share your story on 
the iThinkGreen connmunity of Digit, 
which revolves around like-nninded 
people who are perpetually looking 
out for greener ways to do things. 

Siddharth 



12 



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NORTON 
INNER 



Meet some circlE; members 





Name: 

Nutan Khimasiya 

Age: 

26 

Profession: 

Lecturer 



Your views on NIC Program 

Norton inner circle progrann is very 
informative as we reaLLy get to know 
aU tiie features and upgrades done 
compared to the earlier version. 
ALso being a part of inner circle I Like 
testing aLL your beta products. 

Your views on NIC Events 

NIC events are nicely organized and it's 
fun to attend tiiese. 

Why would you recommend NIC to 
others? 

As Norton is cooL, user friendly and 
gives you aLL the features that you ex- 
pect from an antivirus. It's reaLLy trendy 
and fashionabLe. e.g. the f Lipping of the 
main screen to the performance screen 
and the activity map of Norton 2011. 
ALso, the support is very good. 
As an NIC member, you can get your 
hands on the products earLy. It's good 
to know what's happening in the worLd 
of viruses. 





Name: 

Kusum Kumar Dey 

Age: 

27 

Profession: 

IT Marketing 



Your views on NIC Program 

It's a unique program, where Symantec is 
trying to bring in peopLe from different profes 
sions together, educate them on the need of 
IT security in their personaL and professional 
Life and share their practicaL experience and 
feedback on its products. 

Your views on NIC Events 

I feeL Lucky to be a part of such a profes- 
sionaLLy managed program. The best part is 
that we qet to meet and interact with peopLe 



Your views on NIC Program 

I beLieve the NIC Program is reaLLy creative 
and is a wonderfuL idea. The community 
heLps us understand the product and fea- 
tures in advance, and seeks our feedback 
and ideas. 

Your views on NIC Events 

This is a very good initiative, NIC events 
gave us an opportunity to meet the Norton 
deveLopment team directLy who shared their 
ideas behind different product features. 



Why would you recommend NIC to 
others? 

Over the Last 4 quarters, it has been a 
wonderfuL association where we've achieved 
our objectives. Through this community, 
I have access to reaL time updates on key 
features and upcoming products from the 
Norton team. 

I must compLiment Norton Inner CircLe 
(NIC) for the exceLLent communication and 
association. 



I success of worLd-cLass sec 



Why would you recommend NIC 
to others? 

Being a part of the NIC team means being 
updated with the Latest security treats, not to 
forqet the fun and excitement in the events. 




Name: 

Venkatasubramanian R 

Age: 

28 

Profession: 

Software Enqineer 



Your views on NIC Program 

It's a very good initiative to bridge the 



user. It gives the hope to end users Like 
us, that every singLe penny we pay is 



spent in a good way and tnere s aiway 
someone to heLp us when needed. 

Your views on NIC Events 

It's reaLLy great and a good chance to 
interact with different kinds of peopLe 
in diverse fieLds. We get a cLear picture 
about the product we are qoinq to use 



Why would you recommend NIC to 
others? 

When we get a Norton product it's an 
unwritten ruLe that we are free from 
threats. I never worry about any threats 
in my Laptop because I know there is 
aLways a bunch of peopLe working round 
the cLock to Let me enjoy peacefuL sLeep. 




Name: 

Noopur JuLka 

Age: 

23 

Profession: 

Engineer, 

Java ProfessionaL 



Your views on NIC Program 

A very good initiative by Norton to get 
aLL Norton foLLowers under one roof for 
discussing and testing new deveLop- 
ments 

Your views on NIC Events 

Amazing program and it's good to see 
the community now on facebook. FeeLs 
connected! As far as NIC events are 
concerned, it's very informative. 
The Norton Launch 2010 at Taj, l^lumbai 
was niceLy arranged and peopLe such 
as David HaLL and Gaurav KanwaL were 
reaLLy very heLpfuL. 
I Like the amount of research Norton 
puts in to every Launch. 

Why would you recommend NIC to 

others? 

As it's an extension of the Norton 
famiLy. 



Advertorial 



JOIN 



NORTON 
INNER 



CIRCLE 



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And if you qualify, get ready for a host of benefits: 

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Norton 

from Symantec 



Buzz 



New EIZO LCD 

EIZO releases 30-inch for professionals 
tiiis June for approximately $4,327 



Crack the code 

Subtract the page number of the previous clue from the page number of this 
clue. Then add the first two digits of the price of the AMD Phenon featured in the 
bazaar section. Add the number in the title of the last regular feature in the Digit 
magazine to this figure, subtract 1 and flip over to that page. 



A Leopard, Fox 
and a Lynx? 

It's the age of carnivores in the news 



Steam comes 
to Mac OS 

Gaming which has been the 
domain of Microsoft Windows 
for far too long, has got a huge 
boost with the launch of the 
Steam Client for Mac OS X. 

Steam, a product by Valve, 
the creators of the Half- Life 
series of games— is one of 
the most popular platforms 
of game distribution, and its 
availability on Mac OS is a good 
sign of the future of cross-plat- 
form gaming. 

With the launch just a while 
back, already a large number 
of games are being made avail- 
able for Mac OS including those 
based on Valve's Source engine 
which powers their Half-Life 
series of games. For Mac OS X, 
the Source engine uses Open 
GL instead of Direct X, and has 
made it possible for Mac Steam 
users to play games such as Left 
4 Dead, Left 4 Dead 2, Counter- 
Strike: Source, and Half-Life 
series games. Many games such 
as Civilization IV and World of 
Goo are also available. 

Portal, a brilliant first 
person puzzle game which 
has been met with wide critical 
acclaim, is was being offered 
for free till 24th of May 2010 
in order to promote Steam for 
this new platform. 

Since Steam is a digital dis- 
tribution platform, a user who 
has once paid for a copy of a 
game for Windows, can simply 
install Steam on Mac OS and 
download the Mac version of 
the game. 

People poking into the 
engine have found traces of 



evidence in the Steam applica- 
tion install and the website that 
the platform might be heading 
to Linux soon, although Valve 
has not commented on this. 



The good thing is that Mozilla 
is already working its way to 
the top. 

While one many argue that 
increasing the speed of the 
browser beyond a point doesn't 
help, it is clearly the way the 
future lies. Mozilla knows this 
and is already working on a 
new JavaScript engine, Jager- 
Monkey which takes the best 
features of Firefox's Trace- 




Steam running on a Mac OS X 'Snow Leopard' systenn 



It is highly likely considering 
that the OpenGL based Source 
engine and the similar Unixy 
core of Mac OS and Linux. 

Mozilla shares its vi- 
sion for Firefox 4 

Firefox is one of the most heart- 
ening of success stories of open 
source, up there with MySQL 
and Apache. It has managed 
to break Internet Explorer's 
synonymy of Internet with 
Internet Explorer. So when 
Mozilla shares details of any 
new version, it is bound to be 
something exciting. 

Of late, Firefox has fallen 
behind in speed with Chrome 
4 (now 5.. no, wait 6!), Safari 
4 and Opera 10.5 taking the 
lead. Being far ahead of IE 8 is 
no consolation, and with IE9 
posting slightly better scores 
in JavaScript tests than Firefox 
3.5, Mozilla has reason to worry. 



Monkey and WebKit's Nitro 
engine to create an uberfast 
JavaScript engine. 

Firefox 4 will also place 
an emphasis on reducing the 
chrome of the browser (the 
UI elements) slimming down 
the browser to a more Google 
Chrome-like look. Firefox 4 will 
have a completely new visual 




look, one which makes ample 
use of Windows Vista and 7's 
Aero effects. 

Firefox 4 will also have 
some amazing new features 
such as application tabs (which 
will work like Chrome pinned 
tabs), a new addon manager, 
integrated developer tools and 
better HTML5 support. 

Those waiting for 3.7, 
there is both good news and 
bad. While Firefox 3.7 will be 
dropped in favor Firefox 4, 
out-of-process plugins, one of 
the most awaited features of 3.7 
will come with Firefox 3.6.4 due 
shortly. Out of process plugins 
stabilize the browser, ensuring 
that it doesn't crash even if a 
plugin crashes. 

Diaspora brings 
social power to the 
people 

Whether you comfortable with 
the recent changes in Facebook 
or not, one thing is for sure, 
social networks run on the 
basis of your personal data, 
yet, you are not the one in con- 
trol of it. Building up a profile 
and connections in any social 
network takes time, and when 
you encounter such changes 
that you are not comfortable 
with, what do you do? On one 
hand, you are not comfortable 



Add-ons/or ^|) Firefox 

[ 




aaarch 'or BCd-cma 







C^ the most Out of jxmr moiiey 

i[B«v dHtHbar for ja 

•*" FlrilM iK 




Firefox 4 for Windows Mockup 



Amazon announces free Kindle application for Android which allows users to read Kindle Books on their Android phones H Sharp introduces first ever HP camera module for 



16 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.coin 





Kin^ oF Conncctviti| 




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Also Available At: 



pmnin 

^^^^^^^^^^1 



Buzz 



First 4G phone 

HTC EVO 4G, America's first ever 4G piione 
awaited to be Launclied on June 4, 2010 



Crack the code 

Tliere is a prominentLy outdated software in tine Audio section of one 
of tine DVDs. Subtract 90 from tine version number after tine decimal 
point. Add one to it, and flip to tiiat page number 



with operating there anymore, 
and on the other hand you 
have so much social context 
built up that you don't want 
to just abandon. 

It is clear that a new 
system is needed, and 
Diaspora might be the answer. 
This new project aims to make 
the social web decentralized, 
giving control of information 
to the user instead of vesting it 
with a central authority. 

While the project is cur- 
rently in its funding stages, 
and is only expected to be 
released in September this 
year, it is a brilliant concept 
indeed. Diaspora is a web 
application that one would 
be able to install on their own 
server, and would allow the 
same kind of connectivity that 
one gets from Facebook. 

Diaspora servers, called 
"seeds" — Diaspora means the 



will be open source under the a 
GPL, the team behind Diaspora 
plans to provide Diaspora 
hosting much like the Word- 
Press hosting service for the 
open source blogging platform. 
The project which was 
aiming for a humble $10,000 
in order to fund its progress 
has by now reached over 10 
times its goal at near $180,000 
last we checked. Clearly people 
are enthusiastic about the 
implications of controlling 
their own data. 

Canonical Ubuntu 
10.04 and beyond 

Ubuntu's latest distribution 
has been released, and for the 
first time perhaps there is more 
discussion over the theme of 
the OS than the features them- 
selves. Many distros based on 
Ubuntu are accusing it of being 
a bad parent, by neglecting long 





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Ubuntu's Software Center 

movement of seeds — will be able 
to securely share your private 
photos, videos and other data; 
they will also allow you to do 
send the same kind of updates 
you send right now, all securely 
done using encryption. You will 
be able to pull in and recover 
your data from current social 
networking services, and con- 
solidate in one place which is in 
your control. While Diaspora 



standing bugs, and focusing 
instead of the kind of changes 
no one would want. 

Whatever they may say, 
Ubuntu is one of the few 
distributions which has 
actually managed to gain 
appeal as a desktop distri- 
bution, and managed to get 
itself preinstalled on laptops 
and netbooks. We had a con- 
versation with Mr Prakash 
Advani, Asia Pacific Head, 



Ubuntu. He shared some of 
his thoughts about the latest 
release. We questioned him 
about some of the details of 
the new changes in 10.04 and 
Canonical's role in India. 

Ubuntu must be given credit 
here, for sticking to its mission 
of being a simple and easy 
Linux version for everyone and 
Ubuntu 10.04 is no less. This 
new version released on 29th 
April 2010 and brought with 
it for the first time, a refreshing 
new look and feel. Not only 
Ubuntu, but Canonical itself 
has changed its paradigm. 
Even so, Ubuntu's first focus is 
on the user, and making things 
as simple for them as possible. 
While the change in theme was 
mostly welcome, some people 
were not so appreciative of 
the most jarring change in the 
new theme: the relocation of the 
window minimize, maximize 
and close buttons to the left of 
the window instead of the right, 
making it similar to the Mac 
rather than Windows. 

Of course, we asked Mr 
Advani about the new theme, 
and why Canonical was trying 
to emulate the Mac while trying 
to entice users from Windows, 
and why such a change was 
introduced in a Long Term 
Service release. Advani's 
response was clear. Canonical 
is not competing with Micro- 
soft, they are simply trying to 
make the best and simplest OS 
out there. 

Ubuntu One was a service 
introduced with Ubuntu 9.10 



1 : 



and improved in 10.04. Ubuntu 
One is a Canonical-operated 
service which is comparable to 
DropBox and other file syncing 
and storage services. It allows 
users to synchronize files from 
their desktop to the Ubuntu One 
server, which provides 2 GB free 
storage — with more available 
for a monthly fee — and was 
integrated with Ubuntu 9.10. 
New features in the service 
include the ability to synchro- 
nize your local contacts from 
Evolution or Thunderbird and 
notes in Tomboy. Synchronizing 
with mobile phones is also avail- 
able in beta for paid accounts. 

This service was criticized 
for not having an open source 
server. However, the client 
application is open source, 
and so is the specification for 
the syncing protocol, allowing 
anyone to write their own 
server. Advani pointed out that 
few people would be interested 
in setting up their own server, 
and if Ubuntu One didn' suit 
them they could always use 
third party services such as 
DropBox. We asked what 
Canonical was doing to spread 
Linux awareness in schools so 
students can be exposed and 
used to the new environment 
from the start. 

He told us that the Assam 
government recently gave 
28,000 Ubuntu based com- 
puters to students. He also 
claimed that there were more 
of such ventures, but the par- 
ticipants would reveal the infor- 
mation at their own discretion. 
It is heartening to learn that 
Indian students are being 
exposed to the open source 
culture; of all countries, per- 
haps we have the most to gain 
from this. It seems Canonical 
has good things planned, we 
can't wait till the first beta of 
Ubuntu 10.10! n 



smartphones to support 3D shooting capturing videos and images; products expected in markets by Ql 2011 H F-Secure released beta of F-Secure Internet Security 



18 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.com 



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Connections 



24 



Mobile watch 

The latest happenings in the 
mobile world 



Froyo is here 

Google announced the Andriod update 2.2 
codenamed Froyo on its Nexus One handsets 



HootSuite 



For all the social net- 
working junkies out 
there, the search for 
the most powerful 
social networking app is over - 
introducing the Hootsuite (www. 
hootsuite.com). We should prob- 
ably be discussing the smaller 



HootSuite is an online 
service that integrates all your 
social networking accounts 
from Twitter, Facebook, 
Linkedin, Ping.fm, MySpace, 
WordPress, and Foursquare. 
It can even connect to multiple 
accounts from each service. 




,- T^jwitter 



Faceboak 

Pages 

Linkedin 



Add Tvtjitfer Prole 

Twitter Lagin: 



Ping.fm 



uybrdPrEss be~» 



ig MySpace betr 



FoursqL 



Twitter Pass ward: 



^ Autamaticaily cre?Lte a new tab fori 

v^ Folia w hJDDtSuite an Twitter for upd 
an noun cements 



Connecting to sociaL networks on HootSuite 

list of what you can't do with It is not uncommon to have 
this awesome web application! multiple social networking 



accounts today; there are 
those who stick to Facebook or 
Twitter or Orkut, but chances 
are you have accounts on most 
of them. If you have your own 
blog or website, or you work for 
a company which has one, you 
probably have Twitter accounts 
/ Facebook pages for those as 
well. 

HootSuite makes managing 
such accounts very easy. Not 
only can you add multiple 
accounts, but you can add 
multiple team members to your 
social networking accounts 
so they can post messages on 
your behalf. This kind of setup 
is perfect for organizations 
which want multiple people to 
post on their Twitter account, 
since Twitter as of now does 
not provide such functionality 
- although it is planned. 

For a web application, Hoot- 
Suite has a very rich interface, 
with TweetDeck-like columns, 
and mouse-over actions for 
messages. It also adds another 
dimension by adding tabs 



above columns, so you can have 
groups of columns arranged 
inside tabs. By default it cre- 
ates a new tab for each social 
networking account you add, 
however you are free to mix 
and match. 

Each tab can have its own 
refresh rate so more impor- 
tant active tabs can get greater 
attention. You can even set a 
tab to update manually if you 
want. Tabs, and columns can 
both be rearranged easily by 
simply dragging and drop- 
ping, and column widths can 
be changed so that you don't 
need to scroll horizontally. The 
UI is very flexible and you can 
often forget that you are using 
a web-application in a browser. 

HootSuite offers many 
features you'll find in most 
desktop and web Twitter / 
social networking clients, such 
as shrinking Tweets, auto -short- 
ening URLs, adding images to 
tweets, etc. Some of its best fea- 
tures of the app though are those 
not found in other Twitter cli- 



Google TV: TV meets Web 

Google has finally made its foray from the small screen to the big screen 



Google TV is an effort to finally 
bring the Web to the TV set. It' 
certainly not a new idea, but 
till now web sites have never 
been designed with TV sets in mind, lim- 
iting the usefulness of such devices. 

What Google wants to bring to the TV 
experience, is the power and flexibility of 
the web, but in a form factor that can really 
be enjoyed on TV screens. The aim is to 
make watching your TV a social experi- 
ence, just like web videos. Nowadays we 
want to watch stuff which has a little more 
personal relevance, stuff that our friends 
like and post. 

Google TV also brings the power of 
search to your TV set. With Google TV 
you can simply search for what you 



are looking for in the 
embedded browser, instead 
of changing channels. 

Google TV will be 
based on the open-source 
Android OS with the 
Google Chrome browser. Google will soon 
release a TV SDK for developing Android 
applications designed for TV sets, and the 
Android Market shall host such applica- 
tions. Google is encouraging developers 
to start considering TVs as possible web 
interfaces for websites as well. 

Google is also embracing Adobe Flash 
in their Chrome browser for TVs and set- 
tops, which will feature Adobe Flash 
Player 10.1 with support for hardware 
accelerated playback of video content on 




the web. 

To bring this to realisation, Google has 
tied up with Sony, which will be making 
TV sets and Blu-Ray players which 
include support for Google TV; and Log- 
itech, which will release set-top boxes for 
use with current TVs. 

Television needed more than just a 
push up in the resolution of the content, 
but also the quality and relevance. Google 
TV seems to be an effort which gives it just 
the right push. 



20 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.com 



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Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. ^Choice of colours available depends on the product selected. *Important Dell Details. DELL'S TERMS AND CONDITIONS: All sales subject 
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Google Secure Search 

Google has announced the Secure Socket Layer 
(SSL) offering to its Search application 



Pakistan bans social media 

Pakistan banned social media sites like Facebook, 
YouTube and Twitter after a group called users to submit 
caricatures of Prophet Muhammad 



Web watch 



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Jan 28 




Cf LdisLULlUc 

-^ 1 love HootSuite. its a hoot! 


v! 


'" — . , - - 



HootSuite can store muLtipLe draft messages for easy reuse. 



ents: delayed messages, drafts, 
statistics, RSS feeds, and collabo- 
ration. Most of these are features 
which are not very feasible with 
desktop clients. 

Drafts, as their name sug- 
gests are messages which are 
saved in your account but 
not sent. You might question 
their utility considering that a 
Twitter message is as short as 
140 characters. Who needs to 
keep a draft of 140 characters! 
However when you have fewer 
words to send, you need to pick 
them more wisely. Also, if you 
need to send similar tweets 
again and again, drafts can save 
you the trouble of retyping. 
Remember that other networks 
don't have a 140-character limit 
for drafts. 

Delayed messages are another 
awesome feature. They let you 
queue up messages for your 
social networking services, to 
be sent at a scheduled time in 
the future. So if you are having a 
contest on a social networking site 
and need to post a question every 
hour, this can be of immense use. 
Of course you can also use this to 
schedule messages throughout 
24 hours to make it seem like you 
never sleep! 

HootSuite includes its own 
URL shortener, and if you use 
its shortening feature, it can 
collect statistics on clicks and 
show them to you. 

The RSS feature in HootSuite 
is similar to the one you find in 
TwitterFeed: it's a service with 
the sole purpose of posting 



Just enjoying the benefits of being able to send my tweets in the future! 



Send 

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Sports 



You can schedule your social messages for any tinne, so you 
needn't be online when the message needs to be sent. 



updates to supported social net- 
working accounts, in sync with 
your RSS feed. The collabora- 
tive features of HootSuite, as we 
mentioned earlier, allow you to 



set up multiple team members 
for social networking accounts, 
allowing all of them to post mes- 
sages to your social networking 
accounts without needing them 



to know its password - keeping 
you in control. HootSuite can 
also automatically prepend your 
initials to messages you send as 
a team member, so people know 
where the message is coming 
from. Finally, the assignments 
feature lets you assign tasks to 
team members in HootSuite; so 
you could assign specific people 
to respond to help messages on 
Twitter, or to respond to a com- 
plaint or query. 

HootSuite is definitely one 
of the most powerful, and flex- 
ible social networking appli- 
cations out there, and the fact 
that it is a browser application 
just means that it it accessible 
from anywhere. Unlike desktop 
applications, you are not lost 
when you are not on your own 
computer with the application 
of your choice installed. The 
only complaint we have with it 
is that the plethora of features 
can be intimidating for some 
users. However, for those who 
need the features it is a boon. For 
anyone using or handling mul- 
tiple social networking accounts, 
HootSuite is a must-try H 



Make books off Wikipedia 



PediaPress (www.pedi- 
apress.com) is a Ger- 
many based Wiki- 
Media partner site, 
enabling all the wiki users 
(yes, even the unreg- 
istered ones) to have 
print support for the 
Wikipedia articles. If 
you are doing some 
researches on Wiki- 
pedia - planing a 
tour, may be - and 
want the results later in your 
hand when you won't have 
internet access, or just prefer 
paper, then PediaPress is the 
way to go. 




Wikipedia offers a book 
creation feature: look for 
Create a book in the left 
Print/Export pane. All you 
have to do is to add the articles 
of your choice as the 
chapter of the book; 
then after going 
though the book 
manager (adding 
title, adding sub- 
title, rearranging 
pages, etc.), you have 
the book ready. Now, choose 
Order as a printed book 
to get redirected to PediaPress 
website and there you can cus- 
tomize the cover page, cover 



images etc., or add your name 
as the author of the book. 

The printed book will cost 
you approx $10 - or about Rs. 
500, and you get a 21.6 x 14 
cm printed book shipped to 
you in days. You will also be 
supporting the WikiMedia 
foundation, as 10 per cent of 
the profit goes directly to that 
organisation. 

There are options to down- 
load a soft copy as PDF or 
ODF from Wikipedia itself; 
but as we said earlier, this is 
for the ones who prefer it old 
school, and are still in love 
with paper. 



22 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.com 





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www.androidoniphone.com provides software to 
dual-boot Android and iPhone OS on an iPhone 



Microsoft Kin 

IVIicrosoft's Kin phones feature Nvidia's 
acclaimed and powerful Tegra 2 processor 



HP acquires Palm 



Whentherewere 
rumours that 
Palm was 
looking for 
a buyer, Palm fans were wor- 
ried about the future of their 
favourite mobile devices, and 
Palm's innovative webOS. For- 
tunately, HP has bought Palm 
for a whopping $1.2 billion. 
With HP buying Palm, their 
fears have been quenched, as not 
only is the future of webOS in 
good hands, but HP has already 
stated that they have big plans 
for webOS. 

HP is expected to launch 
a webOS-based tablet device 
in the third quarter of this 



year. The new tablet called 
"Hurricane" is expected to 
serve as a replacement for 
the HP Slate PC that they 
had announced at CES 2010. 
The device was in fact intro- 
duced by Microsoft as a 
next generation multi-touch 
device featuring Windows 
7, taking advantage of the 
new multi-touch features of 
the OS, and was met with 
underwhelming response. 
Recently however, rumours 
have been going around that 
the device was to have come 
out this June may have been 
cancelled or at least put on 
hold. What better to replace 



palm 



it than a webOS device? 

HP has gained a valu- 
able asset in webOS, and 
should use it to the best of 
its potential. Unfortunately, 
the potential of webOS is 
severely limited by the lack 



WHO declares research 
"inconclusive" 




of applications for the OS. 
With under 2000 apps in the 
store, it's a long way ahead to 
catch up to iPhone OS or even 
Android. With the support 
of HP behind it though, they 
might just make it. 



Worried that 
prolonged 
use of your 
Mobile phone 
may be giving you brain cancer? 
Or its long-term storage in your 
pocket might be the contributing 
factor to all your acid reflux? 

Well, stop worrying! Or 
don't? 

The 10-year long study 
with over 13,000 partici- 
pants, has reached its conclu- 
sion, the WHO has declared 
that the study - that was 
the largest of its kind - has 
proved inconclusive of any 
link between brain cancer 
and mobile phone usage. 
The study itself was flawed, 
considering that the partici- 
pants with a degenerative 
brain disorder were asked 
to recall from their faltering 



memory, instances of mobile 
phone use. 

While the study has been 
criticised for being funded by 
mobile phone companies, there 
has been no biological frame- 
work explaining such a link in 
the first place. More affirming 
still is the fact that countries 
which have some of the highest 
rates of mobile phone usage do 
not have higher occurrences of 
brain cancer. 

Instead of trying to dis- 
prove theories connecting 
brain cancer and mobile 
phone usage, which mostly 
only find support in chain 
email forwards, one might 
think that, people would 
move on and work on dis- 
covering a cure or spending 
money on AIDS research. 
Especially with this study 




behind us. Sadly, though, 
another study is already 
underway, with a bigger 
scope of 2,50,000 recruits, to 
be conducted over 30 years. 
Hopefully when humanity 



has finally moved onto its 
abode at planet Klyxgon 42, 
and has had mobile phones 
embedded in their brains, we 
would have an answer to this 
most curious of puzzles. 



24 



Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 





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Mobile watch 




^ Motorola's Shadow: 

Motorola is bringing it's next phone "SHADOW" into 
the marl<et, as the successor for it's DROID phone. 



Samsung Wave 

Samsung launches Wave, featuring an 
AMOLED screen and the open Bada OS 




Finally the predic- 
tion that one day the 
Android OS would 
overtake iPhone OS 
has come true! 

Still, it is more of a testament 



to the appeal of the iPhone, that 
it has taken dozens of devices 
by featuring the same Android 
Operating System to overtake 
the iPhone OS - which is only 
offered on three smartphone 



Aircel and ibibo introduce 
social gaming for mobiles 



Aircel, which is 
a joint venture 
between Maxis 
Communica- 
tions Berhad of Malaysia and 
Sindya Securities & Invest- 
ments Private Limited and 
which is India' fifth largest 
GSM mobile service provider 
announced on 17th May that 
they will be bringing Social 
Gaming to Mobile Customers 
for the first time in India. This 
service will allow the young 
gaming enthusiasts in our 
country to play "reat Indian 
Parking wars"on ibibo.com 
gaming website through their 
WAP-enabled mobile phones. 
Aircel and ibibo.com will 
soon be offering Great Indian 
Parking wars on Aircel' 
Pocket Internet service and 
are planning to launch more 
games in the future. The 
customers will be able to log 
on to these games via their 
Facebook ID or ibibo.com ID 
to gain access to play Great 
Indian Parking wars. 



Mr. Gurdeep Singh, COO, 
Aircel said, "With first social 
gaming on your mobile 
phones, the intent is to drive 
innovation at the convergence 
of games and social platforms 
while you are on the move. It is 
our endeavour to offer our con- 
sumers exciting and engaging 
opportunities such as gaming 
and staying socially connected 
anytime, anywhere. 

Great Indian Parking 
Wars will allow the users to 
add friends to their network, 
buy new cars, issue challans 
etc. to cars parked on their 
street, block parking areas 
on others'streets and lots 
of such interesting in-game 
activities which makes this 
game more interesting. The 
game does not require the 
user to download anything 
and are free-to-play. Users 
can play this game on their 
WAP-enabled handsets via 
accessing Aircel Pocket 
Internet from Aircel WAP- 
enabled mobile phones. 



Android overtakes 
iPhone 



devices, the iPhone 2G, the 
iPhone 3G, and the iPhone 3GS. 

RIM still maintains its 
position though, and with a 
share of 36% it is clear ahead of 
both Android and iPhone OS. 
Android is now second in place 
with a share of 28%, while the 
iPhone OS lags at 21%. 

While the news isn' unex- 
pected - in fact it was always 
a matter of when rather than 
if - the fact that it has hap- 
pened so fast is impressive. It 



has been less than 2 years since 
the release of the first version 
of Android, which was used 
on very few devices. It is only 
with the release of Android 1.5 
that the OS started appearing 
on devices. 

In this short history, Android 
has gone from a few HTC phones 
to over two dozen phones, from 
half a dozen manufacturers, and 
with tablet and even netbook 
devices on the way. There is no 
stopping Android now! 



FroYo is liere 



Android 2.2 or FroYo 
(Frozen Yogurt) 
was unveiled by 
Google at their 
lO 2010, event with a focus on 
improving the core of the OS. 
Major updates in Android 2.2 
improve the performance of 
applications. First of all, there is 
the new Dalvik JIT compiler for 
Android applications with which 
Google expects applications on 
Android 2.2 to get a boost of two 
to five times! Secondly, Google 
has ported their V8 engine to 
Android 2.2. This, according 
to Google, could improve the 
performance of JavaScript code 
in the browser by as much as 
two to three times. Android 2.2. 
also includes support for Flash 
10.1 and only devices running 
Android 2.2 will be able to run 
full Flash content. 

For enterprise customers. 
Android 2.2 has some exciting 
new features for Exchange. Now 
the OS has improved security, 
support for Exchange Calen- 
dars, auto-discovery of settings, 
auto-completing email addresses 



from the directory, and best of all, 
support for remote wipes in case 
the instrument is lost. 

Tethering support is much 
improved as well, and an 
Android phone will be able to 
act as a Wi-Fi hotspot, giving up 
to eight other devices wireless 
internet access. 

Android 2.2 features some 
new platform technologies as 
well, new APIs introduced in 
FroYo will enable applications 
to participate in the data backup 
and restore, so an application can 
be backed up from one device 
and restored to another; devel- 
opers can include support for 
installing apps to an SD card, in 
which case a user could move it 
back and forth from the phone 
memory or the SD card. 

Besides these, there have 
been some visual updates. The 
OS now features a new camera 
and gallery UI, and a revamped 
home screen. 

Overall this release seems to 
have evolved the Android plat- 
form significantly despite being 
a simple point release. Q 



26 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.com 



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VuzixiWearWrapSlO 

The WrapSlO is the latest in the Hne of video eyewear by Vuzix. 
The WrapSlO can display video in the 16:9 widescreen format, 
using a conventional iPhone, iPod, video camera, gaming console, 
or almost any other device as the video source. The glasses are 3D 
compliant, and can display both anaglyphic as well as side-by-side 
displays. The latter one would require you to cross eyes and look 
at a phantom image where your nose should be, but hey, it is a 
feature. The glasses are an equivalent of a 55-inch screen watched 
at the standard distance of 10 feet. Yours for only $350 (Rs. 15,534). 



Parrot AR Drone 

The Parrot AR booth was one of the spellbinding set ups at CES 
2010. The iPhone controlled robotic drone displayed immaculate 
control, and was one of the more out of the box applications of tech- 
nology. The drone has two cameras, and is on it's way to becoming 
a commercial product. You should be able to pick these drones up 
soon, at least order them on line, but there are no details on pricing 
available yet. There is however, a framework for developers to start 
coding in applications for the drone. 




Gates Light and Motion Sunray 2000x 

The Gates Light and Motion Sunray kit is a set of video lights for 
artificial illumination. These specialized gadgets are for photog- 
raphy enthusiasts or professionals, who work underwater. If you 
are going snorkelling, or diving and want to shine some light in the 
hard to reach shadows, these pair can put out 2000 lumens of light 
each. The kit is eco-friendly, as it uses LEDs as the light source. The 
kit does not come for cheap, at $3,800 (Rs. 1,68,660). 




Pentax K-x 

The K-x series by Pentax offers some 
reaLLy coLorfuL cameras. The dSLR range 
is not mean on performance either 



Avatar in Blu-Ray 

ReLeased Last month, pick this up if you 
cannot wait for the BLu-Ray 3d release 
scheduled for next year 



HP 3D printer 

3D printing just got a Little closer to becoming 

commonplace. The HP DesignJet seties is an aid 

for CAD artists to instantly review their work Droolmaal 




Hm Armed Forces Night Vision 

This gadget is really a toy meant for young kids, but the fact that 
it uses real night vision technology, to enable viewing up to 15 
metres in pitch darkness makes it very desirable. The two scopes 
are a little scary though, and the large red infrared camera on the 
top just makes the whole device look like it has come back in time 
from the next century You can gift a kid one of these for Rs 4,444. 
The range of toys, along with other "spy ware" for kids is available 
at www.toys2buy.co.uk. 




iGo Anywhere 
laptop charger 

This portable charger by iGo is 
meant for people on the move, 
and designed to easily power a 
laptop or a netbook. An aspect 
of the green design was to make 
sure that the laptop is not over- 
charged, so the charger delivers 
only as much electricity as nec- 
essary. Also, since the charger 
works independently of the 
grid, it can be used around the 
world, wherever the sun shines, 
without the need to carry addi- 
tional plugs or voltage con- 
verters. There are no visible 
solar elements on the surface, 
which makes the design a little 
more attractive. The charger is 
a steal at $125 (Rs. 5,550). 



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Hexbug Nano 

Hexbugs are small, cheap nanorobotic creatures. These hexbugs 
come in many shapes and colours. There are inchworms, crabs and 
ants available. These robotic bugs move around like real insects, 
react to light and sounds, and each other. They are simple, effective 
toys for adults, children, and even pets. Buyers can pick up a swarm, 
or just single hexbugs. If you feel like geeking out a bit, you can get 
into the code and change the behavior to suit your requirement. The 
hexbugs are available at www.hexbug.com, along with accessories 
such as batteries and habitats. 



ASUS EeeKeyboard 

ASUS threw out a bizarre new form factor for the personal com- 
puter, with an entire computer being embedded within the key- 
board. There is an integrated vertical touchscreen at the side, used 
as a display. We feel it would have been better to locate the screen in 
the middle of the keyboard. The device runs Windows XP, and the 
UI looks like a custom shell. The keyboard can interface with Wi-Fi 
hotspots, as well as the ethernet, but it is unclear if the keyboard 
can connect to a regular PC. Pre-orders of the device are available 
from Amazon for a paltry $600 (Rs. 26,640). 



Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



29 



Digit Idol 



Crack the code 

1 A company that specialises in tricl<Le 
wireless energy 




The Famous Five! 

We got an overwhelming response for the Digit Idol 
contest. Hundreds of readers got back to us, telling 
us why they thought they stood a chance of winning 
the coveted title of Digit Idol. What followed was tiie 
hurculean tasl< of bringing down 400 contestants to 
one - we failed! However, we could shortlist the top 
30 down to five and we couldn't narrow this further. 
Here it is then - the most idolising five. ..idolised! 



Dr. Bhutani 
Karnal 




Abhineet Mittal 
Moradabad 




A= 



52 year old, Dr. Bhutani is a practicing Cardio-Respira- 
tory Physician, and yet he can easily outsmart many of 
his "Tech Expert" friends. A Digit fan to the core, he says 
."All credit goes to Digit, it's been a true Technology Navi- 
gator for me, and has helped me master the basics of computing and 
technology Digit played an integral role in transforming me from 
routine technology user, to technology geek." What's also amazing 
is that he's carefully preserved each and every copy of the magazine 
till date, from the very first issue, all the Fast Tracks, the DVDs and 
even the much older CDs. 

"My Digit DVD collection has always been a software repertoire 
for my friends and myself I also access the ThinkDigit Forum regu- 
larly to keep myself updated." When we called up the jovial doctor, 
he informed us that he has several computers. On one system he still 
runs Windows 3.11 on which he enjoys playing his collection of old 
DOS games! "My old Digit CD collection comes in handy if I want to 
install some really old app", he said to us. 

"Furthermore, I have always subscribed to Digit so that I don't 
miss even a single copy. I buy no gadget or technology related product 
without first referring to the tests and reviews conducted by Digit. 
Thanks to Digit for making my tech-life easier, simpler, and happier!" 

Well, it was our pleasure Dr. Bhutani. Glad to have you on board 
as a Digit Idol. 



Abhineet Mittal has done a lot and it's all thanks to digit 
he says. "I was among the thousands of tech enthusi- 
asts who surf the web to know and learn things. The 
problem I used to face was what do I look for? But the 
day I got my hands on Digit, it was not the same anymore. My life 
changed from that day. Digit made learning new things very easy 
for me. And no doubt, like every Digit reader, I soon got the geek 
status among almost everyone I know." What's more amazing is, 
on reading Digit, he got into web designing as a hobby and even as 
a student started a designing firm on the side. Using his knowledge 
he installed a closed group social networking website for his college. 
Inspired by Digit he started a print newsletter in his college which he 
plans to expand to his city. Looks like we're in for some competition! 



30 



Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 




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Digit Idol 



Crack the code 

The prototype build of Space Invaders had 
what creatures instead of the invaders? 



Abhishek has been reading Digit magazine since 
October 2005. He was deeply influenced by our green 
tech issue and the consecutive iThinkGreen initia- 
tive on Facebook, so much so that he's even changed 
his facebook profile picture to the ithinkgreen logo. "I am plan- 
ning to organize few competitions in my school during festival 
season where I am looking to create awareness among students 
about importance of going Green" If anything, Abhishek can be 
our Green Idol. He posts regularly at Facebook.com/ithinkgreen 
and has even created some logos for the page. To conclude he 
says "I support the Open Source and I am against Piracy. I share 
the Open Source Software with my friends. Some of them have 
stopped using pirated software. It feels great to be the part of Digit 
Community." 



AnkitSrivastava 
Indore 





^#v 



v»' 



Coming from a small town in UP called Basti, Ankit was 
always a shy individual. That was until he found Digit. 
"Digit answered my questions before I even asked and 
so I answered them for my friends. My life was prone 
to ups and downs and I was always an average performer until I 
found what I am good at. I always had interest in computers but 
never knew it would turn into my strength and finally a career, until 
I stumbled on to Digit." he says. Ankit is now the quintessential 
techie. He's been reading Digit for the last several years. When we 
called him, he was at work and came across as a confident individual 
who knows what he's talking about. He helped his company in a 
bulk purchase decision involving laptops. His advice was sought 
and he rightly opined that for a constant price point they should 
rather go in for more RAM than minor increments in clock speed. 



Devrath N D 
Harihar 




A lot of our Digit readers can identify with our next idol. Devrath says he has been a 
subscriber right from the first issue, when he was in the 3rd standard! "The Tech geek 
status that I enjoy within my family and friends, goes completely to Digit magazine and 
the Fast Track. Only because of Digit I could be two times state finalist of TCS Rural IT 
Quiz. I have my blog (http://devrathnd.blogspot.com/), web site, and I am a very enthusiastic and 
power PC user. Thank you Digit" 











1 


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11 







32 



Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



Mission 2020 

The Indian government pLans to increase tine 
forest area in India, and tal<e in up to 6.3 per cent 
of tlie country's emissions 



Greenest Tech company 

So wiiat is tine Greenest tecli company? Cisco 
top's Greenpeace's List, wiiiLe Newsweel< gives 
tlie iionourto HP 



Digital Life 




The Digit Tree Project 

Calculating and offsetting your personal carbon footprint 
can be a daunting task. We demystify the calculations for 
you, and give you a sinnple solution as well 



Aditya Madanapalle 

aditya.madanapalle@thinkdigit.com 

The green fever isn't a new 
phenomenon. Everyone from 
the Hollywood stars to popular 
politicians want to be part of 
it. India in comparison hasn't jumped 
on that bandwagon just yet - mostly 
because we are a pretty environmentally 
friendly country to begin with. Tech- 
nology even the basics such as telephonic 
connectivity and electricity are still to 
reach some rural areas. Apart from gases 
emitted by wheat and rice farms, as well 
as animals such as cows, the carbon 
footprint of India is lower than the more 



developed countries. However, that does 
not mean that we can absolve ourselves 
of all responsibility towards the environ- 
ment. Whether we like it or not, we are 
stuck with technology that is harmful to 
the environment, and the simplest way 
to offset the damage is to plant trees. A 

Resources ^Hi 

Tliese sites were used for tlie caLcuLations 

www.begreennow.com 

www.carbonfootprint.com 

www.erasecarbonfootpnnt.com 

www.micliaeLbLuejay.com 

www.sourcemap.org 




lot of information has been collected on 

the processes that go into 

making technology, and the 

patterns of the usage of this 

technology. However, a lot of 

confusion in measuring or 

calculating the extent of the 

damage technology use causes ■ 

to the environment remains. Carbon footprint 

Measuring the methods used 

to offset this damage is also problematic. 

This is our attempt to distill the wealth of 

information, into something that is clear 

and simple. 

How is environmental 
damage calculated? 

The major concern of environmental- 
ists is a phenomenon known as global 
warming. Global warming is a by product 
of the emission of greenhouse gases into 
the atmosphere. The major culprit here 
is carbon dioxide (CO2). CO2 traps excess 
heat in the atmosphere, by not allow- 
ing heat to bounce off the surface of the 
earth and escape into space. There are 
scientists who claim that global warm- 
ing is not happening at all, or is a natural 
part of longer cycles of the weather, 
that we have not yet fully understood. 
Additonally, there is plenty of evidence 
that suggests that greenhouse gases are 
actually good for plant life (that's why it is 
called a greenhouse gas in the first place). 
However, our industrial-technological 
society is harming or at least changing 
the environment (at least around the ur- 
ban areas) and CO2 is a convenient unit to 
measure this impact. CO2 emissions are 
easy to calculate, and it is also possible to 
reduce all activity to the amount of CO2 
released into the atmosphere. CO2 emis- 
sions are a global unit used to calculate 
greenhouse gas emissions. This unit is 
called a "carbon credit". A single carbon 
credit is one ton of CO2 in the atmosphere, 
or equivalent greenhouse gases or any 
other process used in an environmentally 
damaging activity. The monetary value 
of a carbon credit changes depending on 
the location. Basically, it is the amount of 
money needed to set up something that 
can absorb one carbon credit. About the 
only effective absorber of CO2 from the 
atmosphere is a tree, which is why we are 



Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



33 



Feature 



Green Ahmedabad 

A spanking new 16,000 sq m oxygen 
park is opening up in Alimedabad to 
maketlie city greener 



Are Dams green? 

India and Ciiina remain tine only countries to 
continue to buiLd Dams. Tliis is because oLd 
engineering tecii is stiLL reacliing Asia 



giving away seeds of trees with our issue. 
There are agencies that work exclusively 
with carbon offsetting, which is a process 
by which you can pay a company to plant 
the requisite amount of trees to offset the 
amount of damage you have done to the 
environment. These are often taken up 
on a large scale, where thousands of trees 
are planted at once. We can contribute 
by personally offsetting the damage that 
our usage does. To do this, we must know 
exactly how much damage we inflict. 

How much damage do 
gadgets inflict? 

For every purchase we make, there is a 
lot of garbage, electricity consumption 
and greenhouse gas emission upstream. 
This means that when we pick up a 
package from a store, we are purchasing 
something that has already damaged the 
environment a lot, before it has even been 
used. The mining of aluminum and tin 
that is used in our gadgets leaves behind 
a large carbon footprint. Acrylonitrile 
butadiene styrene (ABS) is a type of 
thermoplastic commonly used in gadgets, 
which is also pretty damaging. Small 

What goes into making a gadget? 




Step 1: Mining 

The raw materials required 
for a device are mined 




IMOKIA 

Connecting People 
Weirecycle 

Nokia encourages mobile phone users 
to recycle their old handsets and 
accessories, regardless of the brand 

and pronnises to plant a tree for every 
phone dropped-in during the campaign 
period in the specified cities. 

Nokia has already collected over 3 tons of 
old phones and accessories a mere 
45 days after the campaign started, and 
from just 4 cities! 

Do your bit, help save our planet by 
joining Planet Ke Raiciiwale Community 
at www.planetkerakhwaale.com, and 

start recycling today. 



amounts of cadmium, copper, steel and 
other materials used in a gadget come 
from large industries that pollute the 
earth in many ways. These raw materials 
are transported around the world, often 
across countries, to be converted into 




Step 3: Component 
manufacture 

Items like keys, buttons, track- 
pads etc are made from the 
raw materials 



Step 2: Transport 

The mined materials are trans 
ported to manufacturing unit 




Step 4: 

Device assembly 

The device is put together in 
a plant 



Step 5: Distribution 

The device is distributed to 
shops 



CRACK THE CODE 

al vlr exsb texq fq qxhbp ql drbpp qeb 
zlkqbkqp Ic qefp ylu rpfkd grpq qeb 
cobnrbkzv Ic ibqqbop fk qeb qbuq? lo 
tfii vlr exsb ql illh Irq do hbojfb qeb cold 
pmv bkzlabo xka rpb qeb qlm pbzobq 
zlab krjybo ql abzovmq qeb mxpptloa - 
"gxzhxi" - rpfkd qeb krjybop. You need a 
frog that's good with numbers, and when 
you meet it, feed it the number 127. 



components of devices. The components 
are often shipped elsewhere for assembly 
After the assembly, the devices are pack- 
aged, then shipped to stores around the 
world. This process does not include the 
environmental harm in designing the 
components, and all the materials used 
for promotion and advertising purposes. 

The companies that commission or 
handle all these processes, are acutely 
aware of the carbon footprint that they 
are leaving behind. If as a user, you are 
calculating the environmental karma 
of each and every gadget you own, the 
processes responsible for bringing the 
device to you should ideally not be a 
burden on you. Companies often offset 
their carbon footprints by purchasing 
credits that allow them to pollute up to 
a certain level. Although the process of 
getting the gadget to you is disruptive, 
the damage has already been paid for. 
This cost is a part of the cost of the device 
itself, so when you try to offset the carbon 
footprint, you are responsible only for off- 
setting the disruptive effects of just the 
usage of a device. 

As you will see on the next page, the 
materials for a single laptop come from 
about twenty countries around the world. 

Environmentally sound 
gadget use 

If you are using 500 kWh a month in 
a four person household in India, your 
carbon footprint for a month is about 
0.42 tons of CO2 every month. However, 
lifestyle choices for what you use for 
cooking, heating and fueling your trans- 
portation all affect your over all carbon 
footprint. When it comes to technology, 
effective usage of your devices can go a 
considerable way in reducing your foot- 
print. The basic approaches for effective 
usage are: 



34 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.com 






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IMOKIA 

Connecting People 



y\etaV aY>a plagues ^^^^ _ 

to mav^ Mse-ml tV^ir>gs 



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we: recycle 



For more information SMS <GREEN> to 55555 or 
log on to www.planetkerakhwaale.com 



Drop off your old phones at 



?^^}f 



IMOKIA Care ETiHiE 



*For assistance on Nokia products and services, call Nokia Care. 
Add STD code when dialling from a GSM connection. 



Feature 



Digital Distribution 

Digital Distribution is green as it 
does away witii aLL tine packaging. 
We are not condoning piracy tliougli 



Carbon Credit Fraud 

Criminals liave jumped on to tlie green 
bandwagon, tine Latest exploits of a group 
in tine UK was to seLL pliantom credits to 
companies 



• Make your devices last long: Future- 
proofing your purchases, and making 
them last as long as possible, goes a long 
way in reducing your carbon footprint. 
Unfortunately, devices are not made 
with longevity in mind, and many are 
manufactured with planned obsolence 
as a guideline, so that the devices have 
to be replaced. Many of the higher- 
end brands, although excruciatingly 
expensive, often last much longer, and 
can be used over larger spans of time. 
High-end speaker systems, mice and 
keyboards are just some of the devices 
that can last much longer than the 
usual life span of two to three years. 
Ideally, to offset the environmental 
damage of production and distribution 
of say a mobile phone, you should be 
making mobile phone purchases that 
your grandchildren can use. Since this 
is not possible, at least buy a mobile 
phone that you can use for five years. 

• Keep your devices disconnected: 
external hard drives, routers, speakers 
all consume electricity when they are 
connected to a power socket, but not 
used. Taking that trouble of actually 
switching off the power source will 

go a long way in making your devices 
last longer, and reducing the power 
consumption of all the devices. The big- 
gest "holes" where electricity just gets 
consumed and wasted are set top boxes, 
water heaters, and air conditioners. 

How laptops are built? 

Here is a List of everytiiing tiiat goes into 
making a typical Laptop: 

CLiina: ABS, PMMA, Epoxy, PVC, 

PoLyoxymetLiyLene, PR, SBR eLastomer, PET, 

Magnesium, Germanium, Terbium 

Russia: SteeL, Ferrite, RutLienium 

CLiiLe: Copper 

SoutLi Korea: GLass, Cadmium 

Australia: Nicl<eL, Titanium 

Canada: Aluminum, Uranium 

Soutii Africa: Cadmium, Cliromium, Platinum 

Japan: Stainless Steel, Selenium 

Brazil: Silicon, Tantalum 

Zimbabwe: Lithium 

India: Barium 

South Africa: Manganese 

Congo: Cobalt 

Tajikistan: Antimony 

Mexico: Bismuth 

Khaidarkhan: Mercury 

Peru: Indium 

Source : souremaps.org 




• Take care of your equipment: Hardware 
gets damaged when used excessively, or 
devices perform less efficiently after a 
period of time. For example, if your com- 
puter is not fast and responsive, take 
the time to clean it and get rid of apps 
you don't need, so that you can make it 
work without a struggle. Install only the 



CRACK THE CODE 

Spot the Odd Man Out, from this List: 
Carbon, Magnesiunn, Sulfur, Iron, Copper, 
Zinc, Arsenic, Silver, Tin, Antinnony, Gold, 
Mercury, Lead and Bisnnuth. 

[Xe] 4fl4 5dl0 6s2 6p3 

Hint: You will know you have the right 

answer, if you co-relate the key to 

MDCCLV. 



^r. 



software you want to use, and uninstall 
ones you are done using. Find ways to 
effectively use a limited amount of 
storage (hard disk space), instead 
of hoarding more and more data. 
If you have a laptop, use it by 
connecting it to a power supply 
and removing the battery - which 
increases the battery life. Alterna- 
tively, you can follow a charge - 
discharge cycle instead of keeping 
the laptop plugged in. 
• Reduce the usage: plan the 
amount of time you spend on 
a computer or the television, 
and what you are going to do 
when you are actually using it, 
instead of wasting time with the 
equipment turned on. If you are 
spending too much time with 
technology, think of ways to 
spend the same amount of time in 
activities that do not depend on 
anything that consumes elec- 
tricity. Instead of spending time 



on Facebook, arrange for friends to 
meet up, or go play a game in a park 
instead of playing video games for 
insane amounts of time. If you ever 
find yourself in front of a terminal, and 
don't know what to do, turn it off, and 
think of something else to do - reading 
a book, or Digit springs to mind. 
• Get rid of old technology: reduce the 
personal use of paper as much as pos- 
sible. Don't print unless you need to. 
Reduce the use of wires as much as 
possible as well. CRT monitors are a big 
electricity hole, and if you are still using 
one, it is better to trash it and pick up an 
LCD monitor instead. 

Your carbon footprint 

Depending on your usage, and the 
gadgets you own, there is still a carbon 
footprint, that is not offset by anyone. 
The responsibility for absorbing the 
emission equivalent of individual 
usage, will have to be done on a house- 
hold basis. One person can take steps 
to offset the usage of the entire family. 
A carbon footprint of a single house- 
hold is calculated based on a number of 
lifestyle choices 

This includes the fuel that is used 
for cooking, the fuel used for the 
family vehicle, and the energy source 



!'^bia^G.i^ 



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feiiS*- 



The fast growing Cassia Siamea 



36 



Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



Online throu 
authorizec 
collection centre 



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www.licindia.in 



Online through 

empowered LIC Agents and 

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For more details visit our website www.licindia. 
any LIC Branch or LIC Infocentres* (call 1251) 

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LIFE INSURANCE CORPORATION OF INDIA 



Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. 



Feature 



Indian Railways goes green 

The Indian Railways is replacing aLL buLbs in tine 
Railway Quarters across tine country witli CFLs, 
earning credits in tine process 



58% 

Tiiat's tlie amount by wiiicii India's 
emissions iiave increased in tlie Last 
10 years 



used for appliances such 
as water heaters. As far as 
technology is concerned, the 
easiest way to calculate the 
carbon footprint is to measure 
the amount of electricity being 
consumed per month. This 
can be done by consulting the 
electricity bill, to calculate 
the amount of KiloWatt-hours (kWh) 
used every month. A typical four 
family household uses between 300 
to 500 kWh every month. This can be 
converted into CO2 emissions based 
on the methods used to generate the 
electricity that is consumed. 

Here is a simple table based on dif- 
ferent usage scenarios: 



Device 


Monthly 
usage 


CO2 over 5 yrs 


Number of trees 


PC (CRT) 


50kWh 


1.2 Tonnes 


40/20 - 8/4 hours a day 


PC (LCD) 


37kWh 


0.6 Tonnes 


20/10 - 8/4 hours a day 


Laptop 


12kWh 


0.3 Tonnes 


10/5 - 8/4 hours a day 


Netbook 


8kWh 


0.2 Tonnes 


8/4 - 8/4 hours a day 


Mid sized Plasma TV 


33kWh 


0.6 Tonnes 


20/10 -5/2.5 hours a day 


Mid sized LCD TV 


42kWh 


0.6 Tonnes 


20/10 -5/2.5 hours a day 


Set top box 


7kWh 


0.2 Tonnes 


8/4 - 5/2.5 hours a day 


PS3 


30kWh 


0.5 Tonnes 


20/10 -5/2.5 hours a day 


XBOX 


29kWh 


0.5 Tonnes 


20/10 -5/2.5 hours a day 


Wii 


2.8 kWh 


0.01 Tonnes 


1/0 - 5/2.5 hours a day 



CO2 from the atmosphere. However, you 
would need five of these trees to grow for 
twenty five years before a tonne of CO2 
can be consumed. Initially, the capacity 
for CO2 consumption is very low, but 
this increases over time and the growth 
of the tree. If the tree lasts for fifty years 
or more, it can eat up tonnes of CO2. 
At the top-right of this page is a ready 



: 0.04 carbon credits 
: 0.08 carbon credits 
: 0.13 carbon credits 
: 0.21 carbon credits 
: 0.25 carbon credits 
: 0.34 carbon credits 
: 0.42 carbon 



•100 kWh/month 
•200 kWh/month 
•300 kWh/month 
•500 kWh/month 
•600 kWh/month 
•800 kWh/month 
•1000 kWh/month 
credits 

•1200 kWh/month : 0.50 carbon 
credits 

•1500 kWh/month : 0.63 carbon 
credits 

• 2000 kWh/month : 0.84 carbon 
credits 

There are many ways to offset 
this carbon footprint. You can buy 
carbon credits directly using web 
services, or you can pay agencies 
to plant trees for you. A direct 
approach would be to use the 
seeds we have provided in this issue, 
and plant them. As part of our plan of 
making our surroundings greener, we've 
bundled a few seeds of the Jacaranda and 
Cassia Siamea trees in our packaging. 

These trees are pretty fast growing, 
and can grow in many kinds of soil condi- 
tions. They are ideal trees for eating up 

How to plant the Digit Tree 

: 1 Take a cup measuring about 2-inclies in deptii 
and 4 inches in diameter 

2 Put some soft soiL in it, but avoid sand. 

3 Plant a few seeds about 1 cm below the surface. 

4 Water the seeds once daily for a week. Pour 
sufficient water to keep the soil damp. 



After you sow the seeds incLuded 
in the Digit Package, register on 
Nokia's 
PlanetKeRakhwale.com/treeplantation 

to earn 250 Green Points. As your tree grows, 
you can come back to gain more points. You can 
redeem these points for a Green Guide, comic books, 
eco-friendLy pen. Digit Fast Tracks, a green USB 
and much more at PLanetKeRakhwaLe.com. You 
can start redeem these prizes immediateLy 
ALso remember to join us on 
www.facebook.com/ithinkgreen to know how 
to keep adding points to your account, and 
redeem the products of your choice. 



5 Keep tlie cup next to a window siLL witli decent 
amount of sunLiglit. Avoid keeping it under tlie 
sun aU day 

6 Tlie saplings sliouLd sprout in a week or two. 

7 Transplant tlie saplings to a garden and 
continue watering. 



reckoner for common gadgets, 
how much electricity they con- 
sume per month, and how many 
trees you need to plant to offset 
the use for a span of five years. 

The Digit Trees 

The Digit Trees are among the few 
trees that grow into full-sized trees 
from small seeds. There are two kinds 
of seeds included in the packaging, they 
are the Jacaranda and the Cassia Siamea. 
The pretty Jacaranda tree is best known 
for its bluish purplish flowers, while 
the Cassia Siamea is known for it's fast 
growth, and the height, as these trees 
can easily grow to 30 feet in height. Both 
trees are easy to plant, and will take root 
in almost any kind of soil. 

Remember the basics 

Technology is inherently at odds with 
nature, in it's current form. It does 
not need to be like that though, 
and experts around the world are 
working on new and innovative 
ways to create sustainable, cheap 
and useful technology that can 
easily reach the entire popula- 
tion of the planet. Despite all 
the pro-active steps that you 
might take, there are some 
elementary principles that still 
apply to making technology 
use greener. The 3Rs, Recycle, 
Re-use and Reduce is a good 
cornerstone for making sure that 
you have an essentially green lifestyle. 
With short shelf lives for most prod- 
ucts, and short life cycles as well, most 
technology products are outdated in a 
few years. Even if there is a better ver- 
sion of a gadget out there, you do not 
need to lust after it. There is no shame 
in using an outdated PMP or an older 
camera model. At the end of the day, 
technology is just a tool, a means for 
achieving a particular end, it is best not 
to be caught up and mesmerized by the 
latest developments. Instead, it's just 
simply greener, and 1337er to boot, to 
find out new, creative ways to use the 
older gadgets. Spread the word, use 
every approach you can, and you can 
really make a difference. El 



38 



Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 





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Feature 



The Beagleboard 

The BeagLeboard is a fanLess single 
board computer using ARM processors 
tiiat lias aLL tine capabilities of a modern 
desktop. More info at beagLeboard.org 




Arduino 

Tine Arduino is a very popular prototyping 
platform for mal<ing smaLL devices tiiat 
interface witli computers, and is tine most 
modded pieces of open source liardware 



The Folks behind FOSS 

The Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) movennent proposes a drastically different licensing approach 
for software, and how they are used. For a lay person, there nnight not be nnuch difference between using a 
FOSS software, or a commercial alternative, as long as the software gets the work done. One of the funda- 
mental features of the FOSS movement is the people who drive it. FOSS is driven by the contribution and 
the collaboration of the likes of the individuals featured here 

Aditya Madanapalle 

aditya. madanapalle@thinkdigit. com 




Raghavendra S 

Raghavendra S is actively involved 
with the Free Software Movement- 
Karnataka (FSMK, http://fsmk.org/), 
where a group of volunteers reach out 
mainly to students, trying to increase 
their awareness about FOSS and its 
benefits, by conducting talks and 
workshops pertaining to FOSS. FSMK 
also conducts workshops for school 
teachers and promotes regional use of 
GNU/Linux by involving themselves in 
localising a Debian release to the regional 
languge, Kannada, released as Namma 
Debian, which means "Our Debian" in 
Kannada. Raghavendra S contributes to 
this movement by volunteering for most 
of the events organized by FSMK on a 
regular basis. He chronicles the activi- 
ties of FSMK at his blog, which is hosted 
at http://ideasareimmortaLbLogspot.com. 

We asked him how interested people 
could help out. His answer shows that 
you do not need to code or actually make 
software to be actively involved in FOSS. 
"The Internet with it's enormous and 
amicable FOSS community is the way to 
go for a newbie. Another approachable 
avenue is forums like FSMK, where we 
involve newbies in various FOSS related 
events continuously. In this process they 



learn all the essentials of being a FOSS 
enthusiast. (I am one such student turned 
FOSS activist from FSMK). There are 
many organizations like FSMK in almost 
all states in India to seek mentoring 
from." We also asked him why the FOSS 
movement was important to him; his 
answer has some valuable insights on 
why the FOSS movement is so impor- 
tant, especially in India. "Free and Open 
Source Software is important to me at 
two levels - at a personal level and at a 
national level as well. Personally because, 
FOSS is more humane, by which I point 
to it's fundamental attribute of 'sharing 
and growing together'- the essence of 
human beings. At a national level, it 
gains a substantial economic dimen- 
sion as well: In developing countries, we 
cannot afford to buy proprietary software 
to run the country, shelling out huge 
amounts of money to few monopolies. 
FOSS offers almost free solution to all 
our computing needs, with the freedom 
of owning the software as well, rather 
than licensing it intermittently. Another 
important aspect is the scope for small 
scale entrepreneurial opportunities FOSS 
provides to bubbling techies." Raghav- 
endra S has also identified an area where 
young people can contribute meaning- 
fully, "I coordinate the Debian localisa- 
tion project and we have the aim of 

taking the benefits of free soft- 
ware technology to the last man and 
woman in the villages. This requires 
a lot of volunteer based manpower 
for the tasks of translating the user 
interface to Kannada, training stu- 
dents and teachers in using these tools, 
helping out in educational projects 
involving under-privileged kids." 



Akshay Bajaj 

Akshay Bajaj is the founder and 
CEO of Net4uonLine.com. He is 
one of the many people who has built a 
business around the FOSS movement. 
Net4Uonline is building India's first hand 
held touchscreen wikipedia reader - a 
pocket sized device that contains the 
entire wikipedia encylopedia in it. 

We asked Akshay Bajaj what is 
perhaps the most important questions 
about FOSS, how a viable commercial 
revenue model can be built around the 
FOSS movement, and he does not think 
it is too hard. "The same as other service 
oriented businesses! Since the software 
(and its code) is free and open, most busi- 
ness models are built around offering 
services to enable end users (clients) to 
efficiently implement an open source 
solution. The FOSS landscape can be 
especially daunting to most companies 
(and end users) owing to the vast number 
of options available for any kind of solu- 
tion. A quick look at sourceforge.net will 
indicate the vastness and complexity of 
the FOSS landscape. This complexity 
combined with the unstructured (and 
sometimes slightly chaotic) development 
lifecycles and broken support of open 
source projects, provides an excellent 
business opportunity to open source 
businesses. A point worth remembering, 
is that source code on its own has very 
little value, instead the required techno- 
logical expertise, ability to mantain and 
enhance it that carries the most value 
and thus brings commercial viability 
to the open source business model." 

Akshay like other FOSS enthu- 
siasts, advocates it because "if you 
can think it, you can do it!" 



40 



Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 





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Feature 



Summer of Code 

A Summer of Code is an event where students 
get compensated for coding for Open Source 
applications. Google and Ruby liost SoC events, 
among otiners 



The GNU license 

Wliy do Open Source software require a License at aLL? 
Tinis is because tliey don't want someone to come along 
and cLaim Legal rigiits for tlie code, tine License stiLL 
protects tLie makers from tLieft, but in a different way 




Rakshat Hooja 

Rakshat Hooja is the Director of 
IDA Systems Pvt Ltd (www.idasys- 
tems.net), a company that speciaUzes 
in selhng Open Source Hardware in 
India. The company is the only author- 
ized distributors of the Beagleboard and 
the Hawkboard in India. Some of his 
current projects include promoting the 
SHR mobile software, and open source 
alternative firmware for Smartphones, 
and on the fully open hardware Ben 
Nanonote mini computer. He firmly 
believes that users should have complete 
control of their hardware and software, 
and have the freedom to modify these for 
individual purposes. We asked him why 
the FOSS movement was so important. "I 
hate arbitrary limitations and designed 
obsolescence. Phones are a good example; 
why should I need to buy a new handset 
to get a feature the existing hardware 
is capable of, and supposed to have, but 
doesn't because of botched firmware 
the manufacturer has decided not to 
fix? Why is this simple software feature 
only available on the 'pro' model at 3 
times the price, or not available at all? 

Finally I find the faults somehow 
less irritating when I know I could fix 
them if I could be bothered." There is a 
powerful and thoroughly commercial 
justification for FOSS as well, according 
to Rakshat "custom software on an 
existing open platform can make small 
market niches commercially viable 
when they wouldn't be otherwise." 

One of the items listed on IDA Systems 
that really caught our eye was Pandora, 
an open source hardware platform for 
portable gaming, which will start selling 
in India before August 2010. Its ready 
and undergoing final assembly right now. 



Jack Low 

Jack Low is currently working on 
a bunch of FOSS projects. Jack is 
responsible for packaging OpenOffice 
for FreeBSD, so users don't have to spend 
ages compiling OpenOffice from source. 
He also works on the Audacity port for 
FreeBSD. He has worked on a lot of IRC 
related projects in the past, most of them 
for his own convenience, but like most 
FOSS tools, others benefitted from it. Jack 
L also runs a radio station called Punk 
Rock Demonstration at http://www.punk- 
rockdemo.com which is also 100% free. 

We asked Jack how newbies can sign 
up and get involved, "Newbies can easily 
participate by finding a project they are 
interested in. If you're interested enough 
and have an urge to make it better, then 
you're set. It might be a little hard to 
get some of the concepts, but it's a very 
good learning experience. Even the best 
programmers were newbies once." He 




has been a part of the FOSS movement 
for a long time now, and we asked him 
why the FOSS movement was important. 
"The FOSS movement is very important 
to me because I wouldn't have anything 
to use if it wasn't for FOSS. I use an open 
source operating system "FreeBSD" and 
all my software is free or open source. I 
don't think software made by people that 
get paid are of the best quality work and 
software that cost an arm and a leg are 
not fair for the people who can't afford it. 
It also doesn't allow room for improve- 
ment or technological advancements 
when software is in a binary form only." 
Like many FOSS enthusiasts, a "soft- 
ware" according to Jack does not stop at 
the executable, but includes the source 
code and good documentation as well. 




Vikram Vincent 

Vikram Vincent is primarily involved 
in promoting the application of FOSS 
based educational technology to the 
Indian education system. He also 
contributes to Debian-GNOME llOn. 
Vikram is involved in localising Debian 
distros for the Indian environment. 
Vikram is full of ideas on how individuals 
can contribute to FOSS, "There are 
different ways to participate in the FOSS 
movement" he says "One can write code, 
translate free software to the mother 
tongue, evangalise about free software 
among schools-college students, conduct 
FOSS workshops-seminars, teach some 
under-privileged kids to use various 
educational tools and start free software 
user groups in your place of study or 
work." He also mentions FSMK when 
asked about how students can contribute 
on a more active level. "A community like 
the Free Software Movement 
Karnataka(FSMK) follows the approach of 
reaching out to the student and teacher 
communities and extends support to them 
in the form of workshops, project 
mentorships, networking, etc. The latest 
Google Summer of Code has shown that 
Indian students are the second highest 
participants. So it may be inferred that the 
entry barrier is being lowered by the 
students' awareness and efforts of FOSS 
groups all over India. The activities 
mentioned in the previous point are 
normally the starting points." Vikram, like 
many FOSS enthusiasts, strongly believes 
that users should have more control of 
technology, or freedom in other words. 
"The FOSS movement has the germs of 
creative thinking and problem solving to 
issues of the ordinary human being. The 
most important ideas are those of 
intellectual, socio-economic and cultural 
freedoms that it promotes." CI 



42 



Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



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Feature 



Stay updated 



Are you a Developer? Stay up to date with Developer 
news by subscribing to tine dev.works newsletter at www. 
tliinl<digit.com/newsLetter.plip. 



Get Coding 

Tine Community DVD lias a few application 
development frameworl<s to get you started 
with coding your first app. 




Applications developed 
by the Digit Community 



Aditya Madanapalle 

aditya. madanapalle@thinkdigit. com 

Kishan Bagaria 

Kishan Bagaria is a class 7 stu- 
dent, who likes to code desktop 
enhancement applications 
in his spare time. He is the 
webmaster ofwww.door2windows.com, which 
lists a number of Windows 7 tweaks 




Kishan Bagaria 

that make the UI better. You will find the 
software made by him in the Community 
DVD. His applications include utilities 
to customise the taskbar icons of loaded 
software, and to change the default start 
menu button. These software have some 
advanced functions, such as the ability 
to adjust the size of the taskbar icons. 
Kishan plans to become a software 
developer, and he is well on his way. 

We asked Kishan how he started out 
with coding. "I started my Tech Journey at a 
very tender age. I got a lot of encouragement 
and support from my parents. Initially I 



On the Digit forum, there are loads of active members 
who post scripts, add-ons, and programs. The Editor's 
inbox gets a steady stream of download links to soft- 
ware made by readers. We feature some of the active 
developers from our community 



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started with playing games and gradually 
turned out to be more interested towards 
other things in computers. I would also 
like to mention that I have been a regular 
reader of Digit and learnt a lot from it. In 
fact when I got the Visual Studio 2010 Beta 
2 DVD in the January 2010 edition of Digit, 
I thought of making my own applications. 
The most interesting part is that I never 
attended any computer class or learnt any 
kind of programming language from any- 
body before I made these applications. I 
have recently joined NUT for learning JAVA 
and other languages. I would say to all the 
young readers of Digit that there is a vast 
scope in the computer world and they can 
seriously consider this as a career option. 
Still there are lots and lots of children in the 
world who have the talent but need support 
from all sides." H 

Prankur Rusia 

Prankur Rusia, is an 18 year 
old developer, who has been 
coding applications for two 
years now. He makes light- 
weight, alternative tools for Windows. 




Prankur Rusia 

TheCalcMan for example, is an alterna- 
tive to the default Windows calculator 
that allows you to calculate entire strings 
of expressions, instead of inputting 
individual operations using a keyboard 
or a mouse. The SearchMan is a small, 
file indexing software that was down- 
loaded over 10,000 times in two months, 
with a four star rating on Softpedia as 
well. Applications coded by Prankur 
can be found in the Community DVD. 

We asked Prankur how Digit 
helped him over the years. "I have 
been reading Digit for about 4 years, 
since I was in 9th class. Its because 
of Digit (due to which my interest 
in computers rose) that I opted for 
computers in class 11 and topped in 
the school! If I hadn't started reading 
Digit then I wouldn't have taken to 
computers. It's all thanks to Digit 



44 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.com 




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Feature 



The Story of Mel 

Lookup the Story of MeL to get a dose of what "real 
programming" is aLL about - writing applications without 
SDKs or IDEs and interfacing directly with the hardware 



Code Monkey 



"Code Monl<ey" is a pejorative term for a 
person who churns out coding without any 
vision for the software he is mal<ing. 



that I am consulted about computer 
and mobile phones in my locality." 

Gaurav Tarey 

Gaurav Tarey is one of the 
more active members on the 
forums, who has coded a 
Firefox extension to make the 
experience on the ThinkDigit Forums 
better. This add-on has been enthusiasti- 
cally received by the forum members. 
Gaurav checks his pm on the forum more 
often than his inbox. He is known by 
the username Tarey_g on the forums. 

We asked him why he came up with 
the Firefox extension. "Someone once told 
me that things need not to be complex 
and big to be useful, I realised it when 
I started making small applications 
and one of them was the 'NeatDigit' 
extension for the forum. It was a very 
simple 20 lines of code I made myself 
to enhance the Digit forum browsing 
experience; I shared it on the forum and 
was overwhelmed that many members 




Gaurav Tarey 

found it useful. Now the extension has 
gone through many iterations with 
even more useful and fun additions, all 
because of the active inputs from Digit 
members. When you develop something 
for yourself or a close community like 
ThinkDigit', there is too much to learn 
and it never gets boring. I think everyone 



belonging to developer community 
should try and make practical applica- 
tions which interest them. This is the 
best way to learn, because nothing beats 
the enthusiasm to see your app working, 
eagerness to learn more and to make it 
better. I have learned many new things 
over the course of last 2 years since I first 
shared the 'NeatDigit' extension, and now 
when I look back in my code I see many 
things that were entirely wrong (stupid) 
or could have been done in a better way. 

This is a win, because when you think what 
you have done can be improved means you 
have become more proficient. I am currently 
rewriting the 'NeatDigit' forum extension and 
lines of code have dropped down to half, same 
applies to my few other applications. 

Digit readers do amazing stuff, and 
with internet getting social day by day 
it's very easy to share. You can make the 
website you always wanted or an app for 
your smartphone. Create and share and the 
best place to start is sharing it with your 
Digit family." H 

Lomash Gupta 

Lomash Gupta goes by the 
username Aspire on the Digit 
Forums, and he has pro- 
grammed an application that 
adds a number of features to Chrome. 
He enjoys developing applications, 
and he explains why he spends his 
free time coding: "It helps you think 
about how everyday processes work 
- there is nothing like building your 
own applications to make you think 
logically about how people behave 
online, and the hidden sophistication 
of seemingly simple systems like cash 
machines or website subscription 
services. Coding is also good for your 
attention to detail and organisational 
skills - you can be sloppy about how 
you capitalise words or use punctuation 
in the real world, but the world of code 
makes you a more organised, consistent 
person. Coding lets you translate ideas 
into prototypes, talk is cheap, but if 
you can turn it into a prototype, you're 
already a step ahead - and you can 
refine your thinking as you build it and 
get feedback on something tangible, 
rather than just a brainwave. Coding 



opens up a new world of lifehacks you 
can build for yourself, whether it's a 
way to backup your Twitter account 
or a to-do list application that actu- 
ally reflects how you work, being able 
to write bits of code to save yourself 
time is neat. It's creative and relaxing, 
I don't actually get paid to code, so for 
me there's something relaxing and 
challenging in sitting down to make 
a new tool or improve something. It's 
good from a career perspective, even a 
small amount of coding ability would 
give you a plus point on your CV." 

There are many more members of the 
Digit community who actively develop 
applications that are not featured here. We 
are reserving some space on our DVDs for 
content created by our readers and mem- 




bers of the Digit community. In the Com- 
munity DVD, there are other applications 
and content sent to us by readers such as 
yourself. Inside, you will find a version 
of the Digit Software Archive using Ajax 
instead of the .NET framework was cre- 
ated by Manas Kumar, a reader. There is 
also a video review of the iPad, mailed to 
us by Ankush Das, another reader. Ram- 
vijay Belkonikar has mailed in a demo he 
created using After Effects. Also included 
is a Digit Toolbar extension for Firefox, 
created by ThinkDigit Forum member, 
gopi_vboy. The developer's section of the 
forum is a great place to start learning 
to code. If you want to share an applica- 
tion, demo, video, music, or any other 
original content, mail in download links 
or attached files to DVD@thinkdigit.com. El 



46 



Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



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Tech care 

Digit tal<es a Lool< at cutting edge researcii 



Hybrid HDDs 

Seagate lias released iiybrid HDDs witli consisting 
of HDD platters for storage, 32MB DRAM cache 
and 4 GB single Layer NAND fLasli caciie 




Michael Browne 

michael.browne@thinkdigit.com 

HDTVs have become some- 
thing of a common sight, all 
you need to do is pop into a 
large electronics mall and 
you're sure to see some of these beauties 
on display Larger panels are gaining 
popularity thanks to falling prices, as 
manufacturers adopt better technologies 
and reap the benefits of larger scale pro- 
duction. Despite this, some vendors con- 
tinue to push smaller 19, 22, and 26-inch 
displays shamelessly, but the prices of 
larger panels have fallen to ridiculous 
levels. For example, some 42-inch HDTVs 
are now costing less than their 32-inch 
siblings did around 18 months back. 
The larger a screen gets, the more 
immersive your experience gets, and 



this is why people still flock to cinema 
theatres to watch movies - the super 
huge display. However, with 47 and 
52-inch displays becoming available for 
well under a lakh, the place for cinema- 
like immersion may well be your living 
room. Add a third dimension to the mix, 
and things can only get better Imagine 
watching compatible movies on a 3D 
screen - the action will seem to jump out 
at you. At the moment, 3D displays are a 
very new, and remember that while it's 
infinitely cool to own one at the moment, 
there will also be inevitable hiccups asso- 
ciated with any new technology. Many 
manufacturers have already jumped on 
to the 3D bandwagon, and this includes 
big players like Panasonic, Sony, LG, 
Samsung and Mitsubishi. Also 3D is not 
a technology that will be exclusive to LCD 
panels. Plasmas and even the newer LED- 



backlit displays will also get 3D love. 
Initially we should see displays starting 
from 40-inches in size, and this should 
go all the way up to the larger 70 -inch 
plasma panels. 

How does it work? 

All 3D displays work on the principle of 
stereoscopy Remember that this is essen- 
tially a 3D image on a 2D display. This 
means to say that objects in a 3D scene 
(that is being viewed) will not change 
with respect to a viewer's perspective. In 
other words this is not like a 3D hologram, 
(except for intentional holographic dis- 
plays), where a person with a difference 
perspective would see something different 
- this technology is still several years away 
from commercial use. Stereoscopy can 
very simply be defined as creating the illu- 
sion of 3D in a 2D image. The principle is 
called Stereopsis. It was first explained by 
the English scientist. Sir Charles Wheat- 
stone as, "the mind perceives an object 
of three-dimensions by means of the two 
dissimilar pictures projected by it on the 
two retina". This is possible by tricking 
your mind and your eyes, by showing each 
eye a marginally different image. This dif- 
ferent image per eye, tricks and forces your 
mind to merge these two images, thereby 
perceiving depth. This was illustrated by 
creating an illusion of a 3D image from 2D 
images that differed slightly in their point 
of view. The difference in the point-of-view 
is called horizontal disparity. 

There are different technologies used to 
achieve a 3D effect. Broadly speaking these 
can be divided into two categories. The 
first category consists of those technolo- 
gies where some sort of 3D glasses, are 
required to be worn. The other category 
consists of a developing technology that 
does without these glasses, and such dis- 
plays are called auto-stereoscopic displays. 

3D displays with glasses: 
Windows to the 3D world 

3D glasses are of two types based on the 
type of lens used - active and passive 
lens. Passive lens are obviously cheaper, 
an example of a passive lens would be 
the simple glasses made of cardboard 
and feature two of different colours - 
one for each eye. Such glasses with lens 



48 



Digit I January 2010 | www.thinkdigitcom 



Ballmer speak 

Steve BaLLmer goes baLListic and states that "Vista 
was not impLemented weLL" and "there's nothing 
free about Android" in two separate comments 



How stuff works 



of different colours are called anaglyph 
lens, the term owing its origins to the 
Greek term anaglyphos that refers to an 
object that protrudes only very slightly 
from a background. 

Anaglyph (Passive) glasses 

Anaglyph glasses are pretty cheap and 
typically consist of one red lens and one 
blue one. These glasses work in conjunc- 




tion with a display that, when viewed 
without the glasses will draw two images 
that are slightly offset from the other; one 
with a bluish tinge and the other with a 
reddish tinge. If you look at such a screen 
with the naked eye, you'll notice two sets 
of images, one with a bluish tinge and 
the other with a reddish tinge. Using the 
glasses, you should see a singular, cohe- 
sive image. What happens is each lens 
blocks out its colour, i.e. red lens will filter 
out red from all images and so on. 

Therefore, the eye behind the blue lens 
will only see red images and vice versa. 
Although both eyes are essentially seeing 
different images, the nature of our brain 
being such, it interprets these as a single 
image. Therefore both your eyes are forced 
to converge on a point that's different from 
the focal point that is the screen. This 
difference in focal length is what gives 
the illusion of depth. Anaglyph glasses 




are cheap, but the obvious minus point is 
that they distort colours in any image, and 
therefore don't provide as good a viewing 
experience. As with any optical illusion, 
the user can also develop eyestrain using 
these glasses for extended periods of time. 

Polarised (Passive) glasses 

Polarised glasses are used to create an 
illusion of 3D. Two images are super- 
imposed on one screen 
using different polar- 
ising filters. The glasses 
also have different polar- 
ising filters, one for each 
lens. These polarising 
filters are designed to 
filter out light pro- 
jected at certain angles, 
allowing only a certain 
pattern of light to be vis- 
ible per eye. Therefore when the glasses 
are worn, the user sees a single image on 
the screen. This technique is used in film 
theatres, but not in home entertainment 
systems due to the costs and inconven- 
ience involved with adding a polarised 
coating to the display. This technology 
an also be seen in sunglasses, where the 
polarised coating is used to filter out cer- 
tain harmful spectrum of solar rays. 

Active glasses 

Active glasses are much costlier than 
passive glasses, and there are actually an 
active electronic component in a display 
setup. They do not have any sort of filters 
or coloured lenses. They also do not 
compromise on image quality as much as 
the passive glasses. Each lens is actually 
a LCD screen, and this LCD display will 
turn on and off at a high speed, allowing or 
blocking the view of the display. When you 
are wearing them without 
connecting them to a display 
your surroundings will look 
slightly dimmer, as if you are 
wearing mild sunglasses. 
These glasses connect to 
compatible 3D -ready displays 
using a syncing cable or wire- 
lessly using Infrared. The 
best example that we've seen 
would be NVIDIAs own 3D 
Stereo Vision. 



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How stuff works 



Android 2.2 unveiled 

GoogLe has unveiLed Android 2.2 with fuLL flash support, even 
as daily sales for Android devices cross the 1,00,000 mark 



Corsair's new SSD 

Corsair's Force family of SSDs now has a 
maximum capacity of 240 GB 



When a 3D image is displayed on 
screen, each lens will display a slightly 
different perspective; that is each image 
is slightly offset from the other. In this 
regard these glasses work similarly to 
passive 3D glasses. But this is where the 
similarity ends - both images aren't dis- 
played at the same time on the screen. The 
display turns each image on and off at very 
high speeds, therefore with the naked eye 
it would appear as if there are two slightly 
offset, identical images on the screen. 
The LCD glasses alternate between being 
transparent and opaque in sync with the 
alternating image on the screen. When 
the image meant for the right eye appears 
on screen, the left lens on the LCD glasses 
will switch off blacking out the view to 
the screen for the left eye and vice 
versa. This blacking out of the 
LCD glasses happens very fast, 
fast enough to fool your mind 
into believing its not happening, 
since your eyes cannot spot up 
the difference. This process is 
synchronised perfectly with 
the screen, therefore each 
eye sees only one set of 
the two offset images. 
Obviously this sort of 
fast image refreshing 
requires a TV with 
a higher refresh 
rate than the de 
facto 60 -Hertz. 
3D TVs have a 
refresh rate of at 
least 120-Hertz to 
be able to utilise 
this technology. 
But that is not the 
only prerequisite. 
So HDTVs today 
that support up to 
200 Hertz refresh 
rates may not be 
3D ready - the 
high refresh rate is merely being 
advertised as a means to control the action 
in really fast scenes and to allow for less 
distortion in the image when using either 
NTSC TV (30 fps) or cinema/movies (24 
fps) standards. 

In India, active 3D glasses is where all 
the action is promising to hot up - a lot of 



mi 



brands are promising such 3D HDTVs, 
but there are very few models available. 
Samsung already has an entire 3D range 
and are to be commended for making it to 
the market first. Their 7000/8000 series 
LED-backlit HDTVs and certain other 
LCD and plasma displays support 3D. 
They've also announced plans to create an 
ecosystem of 3D Blu-ray players, obvi- 
ously to speed up market adoption of 3D 
products. Major players in India like LG 
and Sony 3D displays very soon. In fact 
LG has such products in the US market, 
but the cost associated with buying such 
displays along with the cost of accompani- 
ments like 3D glasses, a 3D-ready Blu-ray 
player and such will surely be deterrents 
in a price sensitive market. LG has an 
upcoming Infinia LED Series, that feature 
full 3D support. All of these displays from 
Samsung, and upcoming ones from LG 
and Sony will need active 3D glasses. 
One very interesting option being 
pursued by Mitsubishi is the use of a 
DLP rear projection-based setup for a 
3D HDTV. One of the benefits of this 
DLP-projection based technology that 
has been licensed from Texas Instru- 
ments is that it is cheaper than current 
LCD panel technology. It therefore allows 
larger panels, to the tune of 65-inches to 
be available at the same price as 47-inch 
LCD panels. However, although the tech- 
nology going into the display is different, 
the same 3D glasses are 
required for viewing 3D 
content properly. They 
also have a 65-inch Laser 
TV - where laser light is 
used to project 3D images 
on the screen. 



Auto-stereoscopic 
displays: the way 
it's meant to be 

We have used NVID- 
lA's 3D Stereo Vision 
for gaming, so we've 
sampled what 3D has 
to offer and it is most 
impressive, but not a 
technology that has fully 
arrived, meaning that in 
it's current state, we feel 
there's a lot of work to be 



done. For one, who likes to wear nerdy 
glasses? 3D glasses can be restrictive, not 
to mention there are some inhibitions 
about bolting on a pair of LCD screens 
to your eyes and the long term effects on 
a persons general ocular-health. Also, 
such glasses are expensive, the NVIDIA 
Stereo Vision costs around Rs. 11,000. 
What happens if a family of five needs 
to watch a 3D movie? Also such displays 
require tremendous amounts of video 
bandwidth to be fed to them, since they 
are drawing two identical images on 
screen. While watching 1080p content 
in 3D, for example, it is necessary for the 
display to support a resolution of at least 
2160p. The higher the resolution, the 
clearer the image and the more realistic 
the 3D view. 

Such displays have been around for 
a while, but there is nothing regularly 
available in the consumer space because 
of the number of conditions required for 
getting a proper 3D view without glasses. 
For example, the audience needs to be in a 
fixed location or area and any movement 
will spoil the 3D effect. Another problem 
is bandwidth - some researchers estimate 
the bandwidth required could be as high 
as 200 gigabits per second - this is not 
possible today. The resolution required 
would also be very high, something not 
possible on today's LCD and plasma 
displays. 



LGntlcular Lenslets 



Right 




PixeJs 



50 



Digit I June 2010 | www.tlninl<digit.com 



Rise of the 

"Intelligent & Connected" 

* Embedded Devices 



By Sanat Rao 

Marketing Director (Emerging Mkts), Embed- 
ded Computing Division, Intel Corporation 



Imagine if your "inteUigent car" 
couLd get information about traffic 
jams & road accidents, and suggest 
you an alternate route! Imagine 
when you go shopping for groceries in the 
near future, your "inteUigent" shopping cart 
could check the refrigerator in your house, 
realize that you are out of milk, and recom- 
mend that you take a trip into the milk aisle! 
How about an energy device at home that 
monitors all your household appliances & 
makes recommendations to you about your 
energy usage? 

All of this will soon be possible with a 
new class of "Embedded" devices which 
are connected to the internet. 



What are Embedded devices? 



Simply put, an Embedded device is a com- 
puter which is dedicated to a specific task, 
i.e. it is a computer which does not behave 
like a computer! For example, a microwave 
oven contains a computer chip, but its end 
function is to heat up food. Similarly, a 
camcorder is a computing device which is 
meant for creating videos. Everything from 
watches to cars to cameras to traffic lights 
to home security systems fall into this cat- 
egory of "Embedded" devices. 

Embedded devices touch almost all as- 
pects of our daily lives. According to stud- 
ies, the average person in the US interacts 
with more than 25 embedded devices in 
a day. Did you know that many ATM ma- 
chines actually have an Intel Core2Duo chip 
inside (the same one that's in your laptop) & 
run a version of the Windows operating sys- 
tem? Did you know that when you get an 
X-ray or an ultrasound done at a hospital, 
you are probably using a device with an In- 
tel Pentium4 chip inside? Most people are 
not aware of the "intelligence" inside these 
devices.... As the late Marc Weiser, CTO of 
Xerox PARC, once observed: "The most 
profound technologies are those that seem 



to disappear as they weave themselves into 
the fabric of our everyday lives". 



Tiie future is "connected" 



The internet is bringing transformative 
changes to the embedded world. The era of 
intelligent connectivity for everyday objects 
has started & will pick up pace rapidly. Ac- 
cording to a recent IDC study, there will be 
15 billion devices connected to the internet 
by 2015, most of which will be embedded 
devices such as cars, home media phones, 
digital signs and shopping carts, medical 
devices, factory robots, intelligent wind tur- 
bines, etc. 

We know from history that once devices 
get connected to the internet, a whole host 
of new usages & functions begin to ap- 
pear. For example, today a refrigerator or a 
washing machine is a single function device 
with specific hard-coded functions. The 
moment you connect it to the internet, your 
refrigerator can now be remotely accessed 
from your workplace & you could set it up 
to tell you when you have run out of eggs! 



Some game-ciianging 
embedded products coming in 
the near future 



In Vehicle Infotainment (IVI): Imagine 
if you could download your favorite movie, 
access the internet, figure out the fastest 
route to your destination based on current 
traffic conditions, have your children play 
video games - all while you are driving in 
the car. This will soon be possible with an 
IVI system in your car powered by Intel's 
Atom processor. Some of the interesting 
apps are location based services, state-of- 
the-art navigation systems, vehicle-to-ve- 
hicle communication, multimedia content, 
etc. Obviously, this is in very early stages in 
India but we are pretty excited about the 
long term prospects. 

Portable Embedded Devices for Fi- 
nancial Inclusion: A large part of India 
resides in rural areas, which are not well 
served by bank branches. In order to al- 
low rural India to participate in the banking 
system, we will see an explosion of port- 



able embedded banking devices. These are 
usually ruggedized portable devices with 
a biometric scanner & integrated printer/ 
card reader, and run the same apps which 
are run on a PC. A bank employee goes into 
the village with this device, meets villagers, 
enrolls them with a bank account & handles 
transactions. The transactions are synchro- 
nized with the bank servers over GPRS. 

Retail: Imagine walking around a retail 
store and coming across a kiosk, which sud- 
denly springs into life with your image! The 
system goes on to show you various items 
for you to choose, based on your previous 
shopping history & the current store inven- 
tory. You may be able to "try on" different 
clothing and match items with each other. 
This next generation shopping experience 
is actually possible today on the Intel 
"proof-of-concept" built on an Intel® Core™ 
\7 processor and using multi-user, multi- 
touch holographic display technology. 



Intel's role in driving tiie future 
of Embedded 



All these new "connected" devices will 
require chips with high-performance to 
be able to support an operating system & 
run all these new applications. Driven by 
breakthroughs in microarchitecture and 
process technology, the same Intel® archi- 
tecture that is at the heart of the majority 
of today's PCs can now deliver intelligence 
and connectivity to billions of these new in- 
telligent, connected devices. 

Intel offers a scalable roadmap of high 
performance processors ranging from the 
Xeon processor for high performance em- 
bedded devices, all the way down to our 
new embedded Atom family of processors 
for low-power devices. In addition, Intel's 
Embedded Alliance is one of the world's 
most recognized and trusted ecosystems 
with a host of partners who provide lead- 
ing edge embedded devices based on Intel 
Architecture. 

In summary, a new era of connected 
embedded devices is dawning, and will ^ 
have a profound effect on the way we live & -§ 
work. We live in exciting times ! ■ < 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.com 



51 



How stuff works 



Foxconn's in a soup 

OEM for Apple's iPhone is facing fLal< for worl<ers committing suicide. CouLd 
tine liot selling iPJione be driving overworl<ed Labourers to l<iLL tiiemseLves? 



There are two main technologies for 
auto-stereoscopic displays - parallax bar- 
rier and lenticular lens. 

Lenticular lens 

Lenticular lens displays are very costly, 
and large in size, so are not suitable for 
home usage. Lenticules are tiny lenses 
that are fused on to the rear side of a 

Parallax Barrier 




Pixels 



special film. This film coating is put on 
the display's surface. Two sets of the 
same image are displayed on screen, and 
the lenses work to direct light to each eye 
such that each eye only sees one of the 
images. These lenses are cylindrical in 
shape, and each lens directs light from 
alternate pixel segments to the same spot. 
There are two such spots (obviously!), 
one for each eye. Your brain interprets 
this as a single 3D image. One of the 
disadvantages of such displays is that 
content needs to created and optimised 
for this kind of display. Another problem 
is that, since light rays and lenses are 
involved, there is a sweet spot to get the 
most of the 3D effect. If you move out of 
this zone, the picture would start to get 
blurry. The obvious solution would be to 
include some sort of camera that would 
track movement and adjust accordingly. 
One problem would be a scenario where 
five people are watching one 3D screen 
where the camera needs to track all of 
their movements and calculate each sweet 



spot - this seems a little elaborate to be of 
practical use at the moment. 

Parallax barrier 

The term parallax signifies the apparent 
difference in position of an object when it 
is viewed from different lines of sight, in 
this case, both your eyes. Nearby objects 
have a larger parallax than further ones, 
hence parallax can also 
be used to determine 
distance i.e. convey depth. 
Here the parallax barrier 
itself that consists of a thin 
layer of material with a 
• ^ Riaht series of slits cut into it. 
V''^'^ _ These slits are cut with 

great precision allowing 
each eye to see a different 
set of pixels, thereby 
>V^ creating a sense of depth. 

^,„H^ Once again, the problem of 

user positioning is crops 

■ up. It is important to have 

R'Qrit a well-defined spot where 

_^ the user will be else the 3D 

effect is lost. 

Philips is one of the 
only companies that had 
an auto-stereoscopic dis- 
play range on the market, called WOWvx 
that allows 2D and 3D viewing. Although 
this series was mainly for commercial 
purposes and intended for advertising 
and marketing purposes. Philips them- 
selves claim to have withdrawn it from 
the market sometime last year, in order 
to prevent another round of format wars. 
Their offering supported a resolution of 
2160p - double of 1080p. 3D Auto-stereo- 
scopic displays are still largely a work- 
in-progress, but there have been several 
prototypes, although there is nothing 
available in retail as the technology still 
needs a lot of work before it becomes 
market ready. 

Holographic displays: the 
future 

The concept has been around for a while. 
Anyone who has associated with the Star 
Wars series of movies and games will be 
familiar with the concept. Holography, in 
the realm of 3D displays, is based on the 
concept of "motion parallax" where the 



perspective of the viewer can be variable 
and the image changes and moves contin- 
uously in keeping with the viewers' per- 
spective. It is possible to view the object 
on screen from different directions, and 
each time new facets are visible, while 
some disappear - similarly to what hap- 
pens in real life, when you walk around 
a solid body. The picture is not restricted 
to the screen itself - objects can appear to 
be both behind and in front of the screen. 
This is completely natural, and there is 
no motion tracking technology applied, 
like in lenticular lenses. 

Such displays are made up of pixels, but 
these are referred to as voxels - or simply 
volumetric pixels, since instead of being 
represented by two coordinates on-screen, 
they are referred to by three coordinates i.e. 
a grid in 3 dimensional space. The concept 
of a voxel originated with holographic 3D 
displays. A voxel is, however, a lot more 
relative than a pixel, because it's location is 
relative to the other voxels in a scene, since 
we're talking about a complex volumetric 
image that differ in composition as viewing 
orientation changes. 

Holographic displays exist, but they 
are very application specific. The most 
obvious uses are medical and engineering 
applications, certain research also 
benefits from being able to view objects in 
3D space. When it comes to home 
entertainment, holography is still a 
reasonable distance away - after all 
movies would need to be shot so as to 
have multiple orientation points - band- 
width requirements would be astronom- 
ical, as would the cost. Holographic 
images also persist for a while, making 
them unsuitable for any sort of rapid 
moving scenes - definitely not what 
you're looking for, for any sort of video 
watching. The technology ecosystem for 
such displays is also not proven, at least 
outside of a research lab - multimedia is a 
living, breathing medium and holo- 
graphic displays are still too raw a 
technology to seem feasible. There have 
been breakthroughs in recent years 
- enough to lighten up prediction gurus' 
eyes, to the point where they believe we 
could see a 3D holographic display 
become feasible in the next 20 years. Wait 
and watch.. .n 



52 



Digit I June 2010 | www.thinl<digit.com 



Killzone 3 released 

After KiLLzone 2, it's sequel KiLLzone 3 is set to release 
witli 3D support; PS3 wiLL be tlie exclusive console 



Samsung Konect Plus monitor 

Samsung Launciies 23-incli Konect PLus LCD Monitor witli 
HDMI in and digital audio out ports and a remote control 



From the labs 




Tech Care 



Healthcare segment has encompass many disciplines, 
the results of which have revolutionized the segment. 
Digit takes a look at some cutting edge researches 
which will see the light of the day soon. 



Nimish Sawant 

nim ish. saw an t@thinkdigit. com 

Healthcare segment is not just 
about diseases, medicines 
and their cures. Research in 
this segment is encompassing 
various disciplines like electronics, 
mechanics, robotics, nanotechnology 
among others. Due to the symbiosis 
between the various spheres, the time 
frame required for the detection and diag- 
nosis of diseases has come down drasti- 



cally. We decided to peep into the labs 
across the world to get an idea of future 
innovations in the healthcare segment. 

From the Indian shores 

Philips Electronics India announced 
their entry into the Indian home health- 
care market last year with a product 
which claims to treat obstructive sleep 
apnea(OSA), a condition characterized 
by repeated cessation of breathing during 



sleep. Speaking on the future trends in 
medical technology segment. Dr. Wido 

Menhardt, Philips Healthcare, said, "It 

can take decades before a new technology 
becomes household name. But some 
changes that we will see over the next five 
years in India is widespread adoption of 
technology related to telemedicine. Costs 
are coming down, infrastructure avail- 
ability has gone up and there is an acute 
shortage of healthcare specialists that all 
contribute to the faster adoption of such 
technology." He elucidated on the various 
forms telemedicine will take up like 
telediagnostics, teleradiology etc. When 
prodded to tell us about the research 
happening at the Philips Healthcare labs 
in India, Dr Menhardt said he could not 
comment on the on-going research. 

Portable Health Monitoring 

Another area that is quickly catching up 
in India is the sphere of portable health 
monitoring systems. They have become 
very specific and portable, thanks to our 
busy lifestyles which hardly gives us any 
time to honour our doctor's appointment. 
In a country like ours', where there isn't 
a single hospital for miles, portability can 
actually be a life-saving factor as it enables 
one to move around freely, while at the 
same time, keeping a track of one's health. 

Keeping this aspect in mind, GE 
Healthcare has come out with a portable 
ultrasound scanner called Vscan, which, on 
first glance, looks like a flip mobile phone. 
On connecting the probe to the device, the 
Vscan becomes a visualization — - — ^ 
tool which works on ultra- 
sound technology of reflected 




Vscan 



Igit I Jlfne 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 




GAMING lb 



• CHILI'S f L AY 



IVIillians of people around the world can play a game. 

But ii/e'll teach you to 



>» MLES IF A GAME lESIGNEfi ^^^M 

A game designer is at the beginning of the creation process of a game, at the middle of the 
process for "building" it and at the end to ensure the quality of this entertaining experience we 
call a video game - all at the same time. We game designers, have different roles depending on 
the phase in which the game we are working on is at. 

>» CiNCEfTUALIZATliN PHASE 

We the designers, create what we call the "Game Concept Document", a small document that 
explains briefly what the game is about, who is the target (age & sex of the player) and why this 
game is worth investing millions in. This document is used to sell the future game to possible 
investors as to the team that will create it. Once a deal is secured, the game starts its next phase. 

>» THE ?RE-PMIUCTltN PHASE 

During this phase, the game designers write the Game Design Document that describes 
everything, right from the way the player will start the game to the most complicated rule to be 
coded by the programmers. From the text that will be displayed on the buttons in the menu 
pages to the dialogues between characters, and the epic story the character will experience to the 
tedious list of items the player will be able to buy in a shop (with price/ stats/ description etc.). 

Everything needs to be thought of, discussed with whoever has input on it (it can be another 
designer, a programmer or an artist depending of the topic) and written down in that bible 
document - the game design document (which is usually a list of smaller documents where it's 
easier to seek the relevant information you are looking for than a 5000 pages unreadable 
document). That's the biggest job of the game designers. From this document, all other 
departments (art/sound/programming) will extract their own specific bible (Technical design 
document for the programmers, Sound design document for the sound designers and Artistic 
Design document for the artistsj.When the pre-production phase is over we start with the 
production. 

>» THE ?MIUCTliN fHASE 

That's where the thinking time is over and the time to act starts. During this part, some game 
designers change their role to Level Designers. A game designer thinks and does things at a 
Macro level in a game (i.e. : "what happen when the character's health reaches 0") while a level 
designer is in charge of creating the game by creating its levels and is needed to answer more 
ground based questions i.e.: "I need to ambush the player, where can I hide my monsters ?"). 
Not only does the Level designer follow the rules and the guidelines written in the Game Design 
Document but he also writes his own document : the Level Design Document, having very few 
specifications where things related only to his level will be explained. 

Usually the level designer also needs to create the rough level in 3D using cubes or already made 
assets in order to script the events, place enemies and challenges and play it to make sure the 
level he is creating is fun. The Level designer works closely with the artists that will create the set 
of his level. He also needs to work with the gameplay programmers to make sure the gameplays 
designed by him work well, as designed. 

During this production phase the Game Designers still work on the design to adapt and do the 
needed compromises between unexpected technically undoable features and gameplay. 

>» FINE TUNING / PiLISHiNG 

During this phase, everyone in the team (programmers /designers /artists / sound designers etc.) 
fixes the bugs found by the quality assurance department. 

>» WHAT'S TAUGHT AT »SK SUPINFIGAME? 

The name of the curriculum is 'Game Design & Production Management'. 

The students don't have any choice. They all have the same course in both management and 
design in order to become either a game designer or a project manager. By game designer we 
mean either game or level designer. 

Because both - a game designer and a project manager or producer need strong communication 
skills we train them in all forms of communication (writing, video report, power point 
presentations, etc.) and also in the usage of common tools used for communication - ranging 
from the most basic steps like using outlook to send an email to the most complex ones like 
creating a video using Adobe Premiere or Microsoft PowerPoint/ Word / Excel etc. 

Because you don't need a specific profile in order to become a game designer, beside a strong 
motivation and a little bit of creativity, we also train our students in using the other departments' 



tools. That means, we train them in programming and modeling in 3D. Here, we are not forming 
programmers or animators, but the more they know those tools, the easier it is for them to be 
able to talk on the same level with the other people in the team. 

Game designers often act as universal translators between programmers and artists. They also 
need to explain correctly to the artists what they want. Same is with the programmers. The more 
they understand other people's work; the easier it is for them to make themselves understood. 

Also, the small skill they get from 3D modeling and programming will be useful for them when 
they'll be level designers, using a level editor to roughly build the 3D layout of their level or 
using the script language logic to code an interactive event in the same level. 

We also train them a lot in basic things like what games are - not only video games, but all kind 
of games. Gaming is a very old hobby for man, and by having a strong knowledge in the 
structures that all games share, they will improve their skill at creating games appealing to more 
players. 

We also train them in analyzing other arts like photography, movies and even video games. 
Inspiration comes from your past experiences, your knowledge, the books you read, the movies 
you watch, the games you play etc. But you need to be able to get the relevant information from 
those media in order to be able to adapt, modify and use it for your game. 

We also train them to get self-trained. I mean, the curriculum is 4 years long and to be honest, 
we can't say what technology will be used in 4 years. So instead of having them to blindly learn 
how to use a specific tool, we train the students to understand how all similar tools work. Like 
that they do not feel lost while using a new world builder for the first time since all of them 
roughly share the same logic. 

Despite this, we train them with the latest technology used by our friends in the video game 
studios and we make sure that we stay up to date with the industry by going to major industry 
events and talking to people. We believe in keeping strong connections with the industry as a key 
for a successful professional curriculum. We keep tuning the teaching content on par with the 
industry needs. 

During 4 years here, the students will create a board game prototype, will write an adventure 
book, will shoot a video report, create a Machinima movie, create a real full game and countless 
small one week projects etc. The students also have to do a minimum of 2 internships in video 
games studios. 

When exiting the school, the students will have true work experiences in every aspect of the job of 
a game designer. 

By Alexis Madinier 
Video Game Design Trainer at DSK Supinfogame, Pane 



ly ot working protessionals trom the wor 

Knowledge and expertise passed on by qualified professionals. 

Lectures followed up by practical exercises (over 1000 hours a year). 

Conferences and talks by stars from the video game industry. 

Learning about commonly used software packages. 

Intensive project work. 

Continuous assessment and quarterly exams. 

Insistence on quality: a minimum overall score of 12/20 is required to qualify 

for the next level of the course. 

Public presentation of end-of-course project / work in front of a panel 

comprising industry professionals. 

Compulsory placements during the higher education course (initial work 

experience). 

A joint venture with Supinfocom Group, France, the world leaders. 

Full time faculty from France and other parts of Europe 

State-of-the-art campus spread over 20 acres. 




video game institute 
India's first INTERNATIONAL institute for video game design. 
If you thought playing a game i/vas IVIAHA-exciting, trg designing one 



At DSK Supinfogame, India's first INTERNATIONAL video game 
design institute, you go straight to the heart of the matter. With 
outstanding international faculty, the best technology, equipment 
and infrastructure, by far in the country, and access to a 
professional network that spans the gaming globe, DSK 
Supinfogame opens up avenues for a career in video game 
design that's so much fun, you'll never do a day's work in your life! 



ranee Exam: 17" April, 201 



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Pune-Solapur Road, Near Loni Toll Naka, Pune - 412 308, Maharashtra, India 
Tel.: +91 20 66784310 / 1 1 | Toll free : 1800-2095020 

E-mail: info@dsksic.com I Website : www.dsksic.com 



From the labs 



Hack for MS zune HD released 

The first hack ever for Microsoft Zune HD was reLeased. Named 
Open ZDK, it aLLows fuU access to the Zune hardware features 



Camera RAW 6.1 released 

Adobe releases RC version of its Camera RAW 6.1 raw 
processing software with Lens correction feature with 
profiLe-based corrections 



waves. The human anatomy is shown in 
black and white whereas the blood flow is 
colour-coded. This hand-held device is great 
for a fast inspection of the urinary bladder, 
heart and abdominal organs. And it does 
all this in real time.. So no more waiting at 
the doctor's clinic with a bursting bladder 
before the ultrasound scanning. 

Let the brain do the communi- 
cation 

Moving from portable health monitoring 
to portable wearable brain signal mapper. 
A team, led by University of Maryland's 
(UM) associate professor of kinesiology. 
Dr. Jose Contreras - Vidal, have success- 
fully reconstructed 3D hand motion from 
the brain signals. What's so great about 
it one may think, but theres a catch. The 
brain signals have been captured in a 
non invasive manner. Using a process 
called electroencephalography (EEG), 
which measures brain signals with the 
help of electrodes attached to the scalp. 

The UM team placed an array of 34 
sensors on the scalps of five volunteers 
to record their brain's electrical activity. 
The volunteers were asked to reach from 
a centre button to eight other buttons 
randomly around 10 times and the hand 
motions and brain signals were recorded. 
EEG recordings were analysed and corre- 
lated with the readings from motion sensors 
attached to the volunteers hands to create a 
3D model of the hand movements. This has 
proved the maxim, that EEG signals are not 
strong enough to lead to any movement of 
limbs, wrong. 

According to Dr. Contreras-Vidal, the 
research is aimed at understanding, how the 
multiple models of interaction between the 
brain and the body are developed and how 
these models are affected by diseases. 

"We are currently applying our 
decoding methods to bipedal locomotion. 
We believe it is possible to use noninvasive 
brain signal (derived from EEG) to control 
lower limb exoskeleton to restore gait," said 
Dr. Vidal. 

This research is a boon for patients who 
have lost the use of their limbs due to acci- 
dent, they can control their prosthetics and 
equipments such as wheelchair with this. 
If imagination is streched a wee bit more, 
this headset can also be used to give input 



commands to a computer in a handsfree 
manner just by thinking. 

As for the availability of the product in 
the market, Trent Bradberry a research 
student working in Dr Vidal' s team said, 
"There are three main steps that need to be 
done before our research enters the main- 
stream healthcare segment. First of all we 
need to create a near real-time implementa- 
tion of our decoder within a brain-computer 
interface system, which is nearly complete. 
Secondly, test our system with persons that 
have an amputation or a spinal cord injury. 
Finally, transform our laboratory prototype 
to a polished product that is easy to use in 
the home." Dr. Vidal expects this technology 
to be translated in some portions of the 
healthcare world within the next five years. 

Genome Sequencing in $100? 

Researchers at the BioNanomatrix, Penn- 
sylvania under the leadership of Mr. Han 
Cao are working on a nanofluidic chip 
which claims to bring down the Genome 
sequencing cost to just $100. A working 
prototype is ready and the technology has 
just been patented in March 2010. The 
nanoanalyser set up comprises three parts 
viz : the nanoanalyser chip, the software 
to read the data and an imaging device to 
capture it on a CCD sensor. Since Bio- 
Nanomatrix only unravels the DNA, its 
working in collaboration with Complete 




Genomics, a Silicon Valley based company, 
which handles the sequencing aspect. 

It works like this - a large coiled chromo- 
somal DNA strand is inserted in the fluid. 
The whole area is divided into patterned 
bio chips that help the coils to untangle 
such that when the strands reach the final 
nanochannel array, they are separated from 
each other and each array (100 nm wide) 



can only house a single strand. These gaps 
are at the micrometer level in the beginning 
and gradually reach the nanometer level. 
The fluid guides the strands. 

Unlike other genome sequencing 
processes in which the strands are cut and 
then re stitched to be analysed, the nano- 
analyser does not break the strand at any 
point. "Human genome has recently been 
discovered to have highly complex genomic 
sequence structural variations. The location, 
the orientation of specific genes or blocks 
of genes are different among individuals. 
These Structural Variations (SVs) have been 
linked to many complex trait diseases such 
as autoimunne, autism, cancer etc. Frag- 




"The method we have impLemented, enables 
one to keep the nnedicaLLy relevant con- 
textual structural innformation intact by 
preserving the direct imaging long strands 
of DNA at a single molecule level without 
any amplification." Mr Han Cao, Founder and 
Chief Scientific Officer, BioNanomatrix 

mented small reads leads to loss of informa- 
tion and their reassembly is expensive," 
said Dr. Cao stressing on the need to analyse 
strands without breaking them. 

The initial applications of this research 
involve DNA sample integrity, DNA 
damage profiling and analysing the struc- 
tural variations in the genome. "More accu- 
rate information with less cost enabled by 
this kind of new generation technology will 
make genomic analysis a routine method 
in clinical genetic diagnosis, prognosis and 
therapeutic development. It will also make 
personalised medicine finally possible," 
said Mr Cao. This research is funded by 
a five year $8.9 million NIST - Advanced 
Technology Program (ATP) grant. As 
Complete Genomics Inc. (CGI) is already 
delivering low cost genome sequencing, Bio- 
Nanomatrix expects the price to come down 
the the $100 range in the next five years. H 



56 



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Feature 



Skyf ire to bring Flash to iPads 

Skyfire converts Flash content to HTML5 content on it's 
servers to deliver FLasli content to iPads 



Mobile GPUs 

NVidia is coming out witli Mobile GPUs witli tlie IMobiLe 
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480M scheduled to release this year 



Top 50 Mobile Applications 

Mobile applications have come a long way in recent times, and developers have shown some stunning 
implementations of accelerometer and touch use. Some of the applications for the more limited platforms 
such as Java and Symbian, add incredible functionality to older phones, allowing them to interface with 
various parts of the web. It is possible to view YouTube videos without audio on a low end phone, if you 
know which app to pick. Here is a list of the very best mobile applications around, in alphabetical order. 
Many of them are available for various platforms. 



Adobe Reader LE #01 

Platforms: Windows Mobile, Symbian, Blackberry, Palm, Android 
Website: www.adobe.com 

Adobe Reader LE allows users to read PDF documents on the go, 
The application supports zooming and panning, as well as a feature 
that makes the fonts more legible in relation to how zoomed in the 
document is, There is a handy search feature, that let's you directly 
reach the portion of the document that you want. The reader can handle encrypted 
documents, but does notsupport filling up forms. The app is pretty lightweight, although 
opening large files is not advisable. 




Crypto Wallet #02 

Platforms: Windows Mobile 
Website: www.cryptowallet.com 

I Crypto Wallet is a robust and feature rich personal information vault 
that can be used to save notes, passwords, pin codes, and other personal 
securely on your phone. Being pre-conf igured, it is easy to get organised 
once you start using Crypto Wallet, Some of the fields encourage you to 
store data thatyou would otherwise not save, such as library card information, separate folders 
for personal and worl< passwords. The data sets in Crypto Wallet are called Smart Cards, 
and some of them can be configured to access web pages, or send e-mails, when necessary. 




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#os 



Advanced Task Killer 



Platforms: Android 
Website: www.androidtapp.com 

The Android platform can multitask very well, but can get trapped 

with too many processes running in the bac[<ground. Advanced Tas[< I 

Killer is an application that lists these processes and allows the user I 

to close multiple bacl<ground processes at once. By default, all the 

processes are checl<ed, so ending all the running processes on an f 

Android device is two taps away, because ofthe large and satisfying "KILLselectedapps" 

button. The app also has an ignore list, to hide necessary processes. 




^H Cube I 

Platforms: iPhone 
Website: cubeengine.com 

FOSS enthusiasts have heard of Cube, one of thefewfree, 

open source game engines that allows FPS gaming on 

Linux, The good foll<s worl<ing on Cube have managed to I 

port the engine to the iPhone platform, which is no mean feat considering the physics 

and graphic capabilities ofthe engine. The game brings the exhilaration of playing an FPS 

to the iPhone platform, with some great green dinosaurs, and brown ogres to mutilate. 

The graphics are not great, but the engine itself is promising. 




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Evernote #05 

Platforms: Windows l^obile, Java, Blackberry, iPhone, 

Palm, Android 

Website: www.evernote.com 

Evernote is essentially a universal notepad, with two appealing strong 
points. The notes can be in almost any format, audio, video or image, 
as long as your device supports it, Evernote does as well. Notes can 
be tagged and made favorites. The other strong point is that all the 
notes tal<en in Evernote (upto 40 MB for free users) can be stored on their online service. 
This means that you can access your files from any platform, anywhere. 




Facebook #06 

Platforms: Windows l^obile, Java, Blackberry, iPhone 
Website: www.facebook.com 

The official Facebook app is very different on each platform. It 
shines as a competent software across all the platforms, and the 
strong point of this software is how it uses the unique traits of each 
platform. The invitations and events on Facebool< can be added to 
the calender in the Blackberry implementation, for example. The 

Windows Mobile version allows you to update albums or videos from the phone library, 

or just by recording Live from the microphone or camera. 




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FExplorer 



Platforms: Symbian < 
Website: www.gosymbian.com 

FExplorer is an alternative file manager for Symbian that is faster 

thanthedefaultoneandoffersa number of extra featuresthatcome 

in handy. Users can navigate to any file and transfer it directly over I 

Bluetooth or MMS, using a simple context menu. Renaming files, P&m . ehh 

making directories and organizing data becomes easy with FExplorer. The app can also 

dig into the firmware to throw up the IMEI number and other specs, as well as use any 

image in the system as the operator logo. 




#08 Fring i 

Platforms: Windows l^obile, Java, Symbian, iPhone, Android 
Website: www.fring.com 

Fring is a multi-purpose application with a focus on social com- 
munication. Fring is a messenger client that can interface with all ' 
major IM networks. Additionally, Fring allows updates on Facebook 
and Twitter, A new feature on Fring includes lastfm functionality, 
Fring has an easy to view layout, and is very intuitive to navigate, 
Fring is primarily for those who want to stay connected on multiple networks, and use 
just one application to do so. 




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FxCamera 

Platforms: Android 

Website: www.androidfreeware.net 

FxCamera is an app for Android that adds a number 
of great visual effects to the camera. The two best 
filters are the Toy Cam and the Polandroid features. 
This turns an Android phone into a lo-mo camera, and brings out very convincing 
colours and textures from any image. The Fisheye and Warhol filters are fun too, 
and you can upload the photos directly to Facebook, By taking out image editing 
software from the loop, FxCamera brings photo related fun to Android handsets. 



I Gmote 

Platforms: Android 
Website: www.gmote.org 

Gmote is an application to turn an Android phone into a remote 
for an HTPC, Gmote comes in two parts, one part is the applica- 
tion for Android, the other part is a Gmote server, installed on the 
HTPC, A Gmote can be used to connect to multiple servers, and 
I these are not directly linked. The standard rewind, forward, pause 

and play functions are supported, along with a functionality to browse media files 

using an integrated browser on the Gmote server. 




58 



Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



Iron Man 2 on LG 

A special Iron Man 2 comic wiLL be distributed witii some 
versions of LG piiones including tlie CiiocoLate, nVY and ALLy 



Indian Mobility explosion 

With 600,000,000 subscribers and growing, India 
lias one of tine fastest growing mobile marl<ets 



Feature 






1 




it (.^r— 6 

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Google Goggles #12 

Platforms: Android 

Website: www.google.com/mobile/goggles 

Developed specificaLly for tine Android 
platform, the Google Goggles application 
is something that feels like it has come back in time from the future, The application 
allows users to search using an image as the input. Books, landmarks, logos and visiting 
cards are just some of the supported objects that can be photographed. The Google 
Gogglesappisconstantlyupdatedwithnewfeaturesandfixes, with more functionality 
being packed in every now and then, 

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o Google Earth #11 

Platforms: Symbian, Blackberry, Java, iPhone, Android 
Website: m.google.com/earth 

Although available for many platforms, this app shines on the 
iPhone and Android platforms. One touch, and the current 
location of the device can be pinpointed. The voice interface 
allows users to verbally search for locations. Layers of related 
information can be drawn, with the mobile version offering 
as much functionality as the desktop version, A very handy 
application for travellers. 



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Google Maps | 

Platforms: Symbian, Windows l^obile. Blackberry, • 
Java, iPhone, Android 
Website: www.google.com/mobile/maps 

The difference between Google Earth and Google Maps isthe 
ability to look at 3D terrains, and voice search, Google Maps 
focuses more on cities, and has a bunch of features suitable 
for commuting, Traffic, directions, reviews of business houses, | 
and listings are provided by Google Maps on all platforms. 
The Symbian and Windows Mobile versions don't have naviga- 
tion and Google Labs enabled. The most crippled version is the iPhone version, which 
misses out on important features such as voice search, latitude, all the layers, favorite 
locations and My Maps, 



IK" 



Kindle I 




e 



Platforms: iPhone 
Website: itunes.apple.com 

The Kindle for the iPhone is an ebook reader app that allows 

iPhone users to access their Kindle accounts, or use Amazon's 

storefor purchasing books, ordownloadbooksalready purchased, H """"^ 

The iPhone version has one major limitation, being the inability {3 mmy*!*! 

to read newspaper or magazinesubscriptionsfrom Kindle, Apart 

from that, the app reads very well, is well organized, and has a 

very basic interface that just gets the job done. The Kindle is by 

no means the best ebook reader for the iPhone, it's one of the best sources for accessing 

books easily when you want them, A useful little feature allows you to bookmark pages. 



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JellyCar TFTff 

Platforms: iPhone 
Website: itunes.apple.com 

JellyCar is one of the highest rated iPhone games 
around, despite being free, JellyGar gives you a 
car made of jelly, and a sidescrolling-platforming 
puzzle environment as a single level. Each level 
is refreshingly unique. The car is not rigid, and can change size, stretch, or crunch up a 
bit according to the situation. All these abilities are used to navigate through a series of 
obstacles that are made up ofsimplejelly shapes. You will have to come up with some 
interesting uses of the accelerometer to play this game successfully, A very addictive 
game, butthe iTunes page has a complaint by a concerned parent aboutthe leaderboards 
screen being full of offensive names. 





Knights Onrush 



irm 



Platforms: iPhone 
Website: itunes.apple.com 

I Knights Onrush is a fun little game where you have 
i to defend a castle against hordes of crazed, cari- 
I catured knights. The defense takes place in many 
Ij. forms, with each level bringing in a bunch of new 
tricks. You can throw knights around, crush them under boulders, fling them into fiery 
pits, or have a dragon scare the living daylights out of them, A typical game involves 
30 virtual days of defense against an onrush of knights. The Endless Siege mode amps 
it up a bit by letting you play for as long as you can, and the Madness mode throws 
more knights at you than you can handle. The game is perfect for the platform, and 
hassomestunningarttoo. 



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^H Last.fm 

Platforms: iPhone, Windows l^obile 
Website: www.last.fm 

Lastfm killed off third party mobile applications such as Mobbler 
that could stream music from Lastfm, and replaced it with their 
own version. Unfortunately the app is not available on all plat- 
forms, Theapplicationisprettywellthoughtof,andoffersallthe 
regularfeatures of Lastfm available on the site. This ranges from 
loving tracks, to scrobbling, to streaming radio stations directly 
to the phone. The actual services available varies from region to region, according to 
the platform, and depends on whether or not the user has a Lastfm subscription. Last, 
fm is one of the most highly rated webware apps for the iPhone. 



#18 



Magic Button 



Platforms: Windows l^lobile 
Website: www.trancreative.com 

Magic Button is a software that plugs a few shortcomings of the 

Windows Mobile platform. It discreetly adds running application 

icons in the task bar, without disturbing any of the other screen 

elements. This allows users to switch tasks easily using their 

stylus. The close button in applications actually closes the app 

instead ofmakingitinvisible,Therearea bunch of othertouches, 

to greatly improve the Windows Mobile experience. The most notable of these is the 

ability to hide the task bar from view when not needed. This frees up a few precious 

pixels, for say, web browsing. 



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I NetQJn JVIobile Antivirus #19 

Platforms: Symbian, Windows l^obile 
Website: www.netqin.com 

NetQin Mobile Antivirus isthe most widely used mobileanti- 
virusapplication,Thesoftware is available forthetwo mobile 
platforms most susceptible to malware, spyware or virus 
attacks. The application has a real time scanning module, 
and performs regular updates. You can scan the contents 
of your phone at a click of a button, and First Aid rescues 
the phone in the case of an emergency. There is also a 
feature thrown in that let's you speed up your boot process, which works well 
on Windows Mobile phones. There are a bunch of other optimisation tools in 
system management. 




Nimbuzz! #20 

Platforms: Windows l^obile. Blackberry, Java, Symbian, iPhone 
Website: www.nimbuzz.com 

Nimbuzz is one of those applications that are designed in a 
way to excite you the second you start it up, Nimbuzz is an 
all in one platform for communicating, using a number of 
approaches. Social networking, instant messaging, along 
with Web 2,0 services such as Hyves and Twitter, There is a 
global contact list that constantly monitors your friends on 
all these sites, and allows you to send messages, chat over 
skype, or beam photos. The application plugs into a wide range of services, is great at 
managing large contact lists, and works smoothly on all platforms. 







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Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



59 



Feature 



Airtel gives Delhi free music 

The MyTunes service Launched for AirteL users in Delhi aLLows 
users to stream music of choice from a Large database for free 



Hate Opera? 

If you don't Like Opera for any reason, the options avaiLabLe 
for mobiLe pLatforms incLude BoLt and Skyfire 



S!5a Oneweb #21 

Platforms: X 
Website: oneweb.net 

Oneweb is half an app, and half a service, The app is not 
exactLy paid, but is not freely available either, Oneweb is 
basically a service that re-interprets web pages on the web 
and delivers itto mobile platforms, in a mannerthat issuit- 
able to that particular platform. This approach will basically 
remove restrictions of say, low end phones, from accessing 
Web 2,0 content and services. At heart, Oneweb is a mobile 
<Tfc.id^^v^Thh.^ browsersimilartoBoltorOpera, but is designed with all the 
sensibilities of a brand new post Web 2,0 mobile browser. 





Opera Mini #22 

Platforms: Windows l^obile, Blackberry, Java, 
iPiione, Android 
Website: www.opera.com 

The Opera Mini web browser for mobile phones is par- 
ticularly popular in India, One of the biggest contributing 
factors isOpera'scompression methods, Thewebsitesare 
routed through Opera's servers, only the content to be 
displayed is relayed to the mobile phone, allowing for a 
significant reduction in bandwidth costs. There are other 
appealing features as well, the ability to store web pages 
for later viewing, and the speed dial. 



#23 



Opera Mobile ^^ 



Platforms: Symbian, Windows l^obile 
Website: www.opera.com 

The Opera Mobile version is meant for more basic phones, i 
but is still packed with all the features. The Small Screen 5 
Rendering mode optimizes content for smaller screens by ^ 
arranging all the text and images in a single, vertical column. ^ 
Opera Mobile also uses the Turbo technology for routing web V~ 
pages through Opera's proxy servers, which decreases the load __ 
times when compared to other mobile browsers. Opera Mobile ^ 
meets standard HTML specifications very closely, with almost full 
2,0 apps run well on Opera Mobile, 



compati 



<5» " 

bility,Web 



I Pandora Radio #25 

Platforms: Windows IMobile, Blackberry, iPhone, Android, Palm, 
Website: www.pandora.com 

Pandora is a radio streaming service with some interesting 
technology on it's servers. Pandora uses the databases of the 
Music Genome Project, an effort to map every song in over 
400 attributes, which is then placed in a universal map of 
all music. Basically, you get to listen to songs that you like, 
streamed to your mobile device. The service is only available 
I in some countries though, because of licensing agreements. 

However, subscribers are extremely pleased with the experience, preferring Pandora 

to Lastfm, a similar service. 





#24 Palringo 

Platforms: Windows l^obile, Symbian, Blacl<berry, iPhone, 

Android, Java p,™*. 
Website: www.palringo.com ||r^ 

Palringo is the ultimate messenger application for mobile plat- ^ ,—, 

forms. While it does not chali^ up to Fring or Nimbuzz! when it 0*«^ 

comes to interfacing with social networl<ing and Web 2,0 sites, ' 

when it comes to simple IM, Palringo does excel with some unique ©i 

features. It supports some unconventional networi^s, such as 

Jabber and AIM, It can plug into Facebook chat only, so it does 

not allow you to post status updates. However, chat rooms are supported, which is one 

great plus point, Palringo is a looker, and is pretty functional as well. 



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IDi^HW 


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PocketRar 



#26 



Platforms: Windows l^obile 
Website: ww.win-rar.com 

Typicalscenario:you download an attachmentonyour mobile, 
it is a ,zip file, and you cannot open it, PocketRar can come in 
handy in such situations, PocketRar comes from the same 
peoplewhomadeWinRanandisafreewareappwithoutanag 
screen. You can compress files, uncompress files, and choose 
which files to uncompress from an archive. Unfortunately, 
I only ,zip and ,rar extensions are supported at the moment. 

The "Good" and "Best" compression modes require at least 6 MB of memory though, 

and a few older devices might not have as much. 



#27 Psiloc remote control I 

Platforms: Symbian 
Website: irremote.psiloc.com 

Psiloc's remote control is a pretty amazing app that convertsyour 

Symbian mobile into a universal remote. There is an exhaustive 

list of presets, that let you choose the device you need to interface 

with. Your mobile phoneshouldhaveanlRportforthis software 

to work, something that can only be found in the older models f 

now. The device has a lot of novelty value, as you get to instantly control devices no 

matter where you are. Some of us have had fun changing the channels on displays in 

railway stations. If a particular set of devices are not supported, you can code in the 

necessary buttons by using the composing wizard on the app. 




#28 PuTTY 

Platforms: Symbian 
Website: s2putty.sourceforge.net 

PuTTY is a very popular Secure Shell (SSH) 
client, for desktops. Since the software is 
Open Source, there are a number of ports, 
including multiple attempts for the same 
platform. Follow the link to get to the featured 
app, PuTTY uses the SSH protocol to interface 
with networked boxes. PuTTY is highly con- 
figurable, and pretty convenient if you need 
to pocket an SSH connection to your server. 





Quake #29 

Platforms: Symbian 
Website: www.idsoftware.com 

This is a port of the ancient Quake game to the Symbian 
platform. Mobile phones are a great platform for 
reviving the more outdated games, and this is a perfect 
example. One of the artifacts of porting the game to 
the platform is that the gamescreen is vertical. This 
does not hamper the gameplay one bit, and it does not take 
much time to get used to this format. If only ID could port 
Quake 3 and add a multiplayer functionality,,, we can wish, 
can't we? 



60 




Racing Live #30 

Platforms: iPhone 
Website: itunes.apple.com 

Racing Live is the best Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) 
racing game for the iPhone, even counting the paid appli- 
cations. Users have to buy and upgrade cars, while racing 
against a database of over three million players online. 
Apart from the racing itself, the game has a bunch of MMO 
elements, like the ability to purchase property, and getting 
your friends together to form teams of players then race 
as a team. When you are not racing, you can use the app for 
social networking with the other players who use the app. 



Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



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India to ban Chinese Phones 

India's Department of TeLecommunications (DOT) has 
suggested banning aLL Cliinese imports, but tliat wouLd 
mean almost aLL the phones in the market 



HP Bags Palm 

In a move that couLd have far reaching impLications on 
the mobiLe sector, HP purchased PaLm 



I Ringdroid #31 

Platforms: Android 

Website: code.google.eom/p/ringdroid/ 

Ringdroid is a basic audio editor for the 
Android pLatform that is meant to aLLow 
users to create their own ringtones using 
snippets of song. The app can load a song 
I from the phone memory, and dispLays a 
waveform, out of which a selection can be made and cut, This cut section can be saved 
as a ringtone, or set directly as a ringtone, The entire interface is optimised for touch, 
andsomefunctionssuchaszoominginandout, positioningthestartandendsliders.are 
all a pleasure, Perhaps the best feature ofthe app is the ability to set custom ringtones 
for every entry in the contact list. 




m'v^mm* Rolando #32 

Platforms: iPhone 

Website: www.rolandogame.com 

Rolando is a platform puzzle game for the 
iPhone that has some of the best imple- 
' mentations of the input functions on the 
I device for any app. The gameworld is called 
I Rolandoland, and you have to rescue a bunch 
of rolandos from different predicaments using physics. There are a number of devices, 
including trabuchets, time bombs, see-saws, and even the other Rolandos (the beings 
of Rolandoland), What makes the game particularly addictive is how refreshing each 
new level is, and the rush of successfully solving a puzzle. The game gets drastically 
difficult with each new level. 




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Ml ScreenShareSeO 

Platforms: Symbian I 
Website: www.terramobilis.com 

ScreenShareSBO is an amazing app that let's you screen- 
cast whatever is going on on your Symbian phone, to 
another Symbian phone over Bluetooth, There are two 
modes available, the first mode let's you broadcast your 
screen as it is, which can be used for demoing software, 
or for troubleshooting. The other mode available is the r 
camera mode, which lets users screencast whatever the I 
cameras on their phones can see. Advanced options include a qualityslider, which allows 
the user to reduce or increase the quality ofthe video being screencasted. 




#34 Shazam 

Platforms: Symbian, Windows l^obile, Blackberry, 

iPhone, Android 

Website: www.shazam.com 

Shazam is one of the most handy applications for music 
lovers. If a song is playing at a restaurant, or on the radio, or 
basically any source, Shazam can analyse the music using 
the microphone of the device, send the data to Shazam's 
servers,andidentifythesong,Additionally,Shazam allows 
users to purchase the song, orthe entire album. The Shazam 
Red edition for the iPhone is a charity version with 20% of 
all charity proceeds going to the AIDS problem in Africa, 




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-^: 



iSkype lf35 

Platforms: Symbian, iPhone, PSP, WiFi Phones, Skype Phones 

x^^-^ IMOTPN^ta. Website: www.skype.com 

f J j |A *j • j^SJT Skype is the best application for free calls to your friends or 

^^^^^O--^'"" family. If your phone has a camera, Skype also supports voice 

conferencing, as long as you have enough bandwidth on your 

mobile device, Skype works by routing voice data over the 

internet, a service it provides for free, and as an alternative 

to using the traditional phone lines. When not being used for 

making calls, Skype mobile can be used for instant messaging 

with your Skype contacts. This helps you stay in touch even if you are not engaged with 

them atthe moment. 



MllNTASIU KUTlTIIEJL 



I Stanza 731 

Platforms: iPhone 
Website: itunes.apple.com 

Stanza makes browsing through and reading ebooks a pleasure 
on the iPhone, The stored ebooks are displayed in a carousel 
view, and allows users to flip through them is a similar fashion 
as flipping through music albums. There are thousands of free 
ebooks available via Stanza, and the best bit is the sheer amount 
oftext customization options available. Stanza beats Kindle for 
the iPhone easily when it comes to improving the readability of 
the text, if only because of the cool page flip animation. There are a bunch of options 
for changing the font attributes, how the fonts are rendered, and even night mode. 
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j CwinKtln^ 




SugarSync Mobile 



Platforms: Windows l^obile. Blackberry, iPhone, Android 
Website: www.sugarsync.com 

SugarSync isthesolutionforsynchronizingfilesacross platforms 
and employees, SugarSync clients are available for almost all 
major mobile and desktop platforms, allowing users to save ver- 
sions oftheir documents in the cloud. Images and songs can also 
be saved. These files can be accessed from any device, as long 
as it has a connection. Collaboration is also a feature, and the 
owner has some pretty advanced control options for managing I 
the files across many collaborators, Sugersync also automatically backs up the five 
latest versions of a particular software. 




#38 Super Mario Planet . 

Platforms: Java [ 
Website: super-mario-planet.en.softonic.com 

Super Mario Planet is a fan made platformer that puts 

Mario in an urban environment with loads of live wires. 

The game itself is pretty standard platformer fare, but it 

brings a load of Mario goodness to the mobile platform for | 

fans. There are a bunch of unexpected power-ups that you \ 

can pick up on the way, and Yoshi makes an appearance | 

when Mario needs a ride. This is one of those games that 

are well crafted works of art, as much as they are well designed games. An enjoyable 

game for a platform with too few good applications. 




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Tap Tap Revenge 3 ^M 

Platforms: iPhone 
Website: itunes.apple.com 

Tap Tap Revenge 3 is the latest in the series of very popular 
games. Tap Tap revenge is a game that requires players to 
tap on orbsastheystream down towardsthe bottom ofthe 
phone. The premise issimple, butthe music included in the 
game actually makes you groove. You can even download 
your favorite tunes and use it within the game. There are 
four streams of orbs, and these are visualized based on the 
music. The best bit is the multiplayer mode, which requires 
two players to tap along the edges ofthe device. 




TweetDeck 

Platforms: iPhone 

Website: www.tweetdeck.com 

This is one of those apps that we wish were available on 
more platforms, TweetDeck is a client for Twitter, that was 
initially made as a desktop app. With the mobile version, 
you have all the features of the desktop app, as well as the 
ability to sync the two versions. There is a Lot of Facebook 
functionality despite being a Twitter centric app, you can 
post a status update or even upload a video to Facebook if 
you feel like it, Featatures include sending tweets as emails 
as well, and using a non default URL shortener. 



62 



Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



Reliance Teams up with GetJar 

Reliance has teamed up with GetJar, the biggest Java software 
provider to allow it's users to access the 65000 app database of getjar 



Symbian for WebDevs 

Symbian's Web Runtime Tools will allow web developers 
to easily code in apps for the Symbian platform 




TwitterBerry/ OpenBeak #41 

Platforms: Blackberry 
Website: www.orangatame.com 

While TwitterBerry is still available on various sites, OpenBeak 
is a change in the name of a newer version of the same applica- 
tion, OpenBeal< is a powerful Twitter client, that has some pretty 
obscure features, With a click of a button, you can use the camera 
of the Blackberry device to post images on image hosting sites 
that are integrated with Twitter, including Twitgoo, TwitPic and 
Posterous. The app is optimised for performance in a number 
of thoughtful ways, including caching of all avatars for faster 
loading and reduced network load. 



I UltraMPS #42 

Platforms: Symbian 

Website: www.lonelycatgames.com 

UltraMPS is a saviorfor users ofSymbian phones, as these do 
not come with a good MP3 player pre-installed. The interface is 
1 miniaturized, allowing for a lot of information to be displayed 
on screen at any time. Navigating through songs and using the 
playlist is easy and the player can play songs from anywhere 
I in the phone, including the bluetooth inbox, or the message 
inbox. The best bit is perhaps the customization options available for the phone, there 
are literally thousands ofskins available online, and you can easily make your own using 
any image. The player is pretty advanced for a Symbian application. 





1 







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#43 Viigo 

Platforms: Blackberry, Windows l^lobile 
Website: www.viigo.com 

Viigo is an RSS reader that was recently purchased by 
Research in Motion (RIM), but a Windows Mobile version is 
still available on theirsite,The readerworks by adding sets 
of feeds known as "modules" to your data stream. Sports, ^, sports 
Weather, Travel, Local interests are just some of the mod- 
ules available. Each feed is organized into directories, and it 
is easy to find real time information, and to monitor developments. You can configure in 
your own feeds to monitor as well, If you feel like sharing any of the updates you come 
across, you can update Facebook or Twitter, send an e-mail, or post to del,ico,us at a 
click of a button. The entire article can be launched in a browser, or read in plaintext 



^^^^^^^^mmtmt 


^S^Sr^ 


Q Neuj5 & RSS 




^ HLdio & Podcasts 




^■CFL 




, Weather 




^" Sports 




Entertainment 





#44 VUngo I 

Platforms: iPhone 
Website: www.vlingo.com 

Vlingo is an app that let'syou tellyour phone what to do. Does 

notseem like much does it? The "tell" means actually speaking | 

into the phone. With a click of a button, you can send an email, 

post a facebook or twitter update, or send a message by just | 
- talking and allowing the app to convert the speech to text, 
I You will have to speak the punctuation aloud, which makes I 

using the app a little goofy You can even tell the phone whom 

to message from the phone book, or the email address of a I 

recipient, Vlingo converts these verbal instructions to actions, A very handy app for 

operating some aspects of your iPhone with voice commands. 




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WeFi 



'MS 



Platforms: Symbian, Windows l^obile. Android 
Website: www.wefi.com 

WeFi is essentially one of those WiFi network sniffing applica- 
tions that let's you hunt around for a free WiFi access point. 
What makes WeFi stand out is that the WiFi hotspots are by 
WeFi users, with an aim of creating a global WiFi network 
where everyone has free connectivity This means that you do 
not have to pay for mobile network charges when using WeFi 
to hunt around for a free WiFi access point to use. There are 
over 55,000,000 users listed, and WeFi has a large directory of 
active, free WiFi hotspots. 
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World Championship #46 

Pool 2010 

I Platforms: Java 
Website: www.mobile9.com 

Pool is an all time classic casual game, and World Championship 
Pool 2010 is the best implementation of the game for platforms 
thatsupport Java, The 3D animation looksjustamazing even on 
mediocre phones, and playing the game is a snap with easy to 
use controls. The game itself is pretty simple, but very effective. 
There are three modes to choose from, and a multiplayer option where you can have 
a face off with another player. The Ul implementation is a combination of user control 
and preset animation, which blends very smoothly for a great gameplay experience. 




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#47 Worldiviate Live I 

Platforms: Windows l^obile. Blackberry, 
iPhone, Symbian I 
Website: www.worldmate.com 

Worldect companion for the frequent of track of the | 

travel schedules, meetings and other engagements. 

Flight tickets, hotel bookings and vehicle rentals are I 

all stored in a central timeline, that can be synced 

across devices as well as the web site. There are a 

bunch of thoughtful features thrown on top of this I 

basic service, including a currency converter, a hotel directory weather forecast, and 

Linkedin connectivity. 




#48 XnVlew 

Platforms: 
Website: www.xnviewpocket.org 

XnView is an alternative photo browser for the mobile plat- 
form, that has won a number of awards for it's superior 
performance. It can view more than 500 graphic files, view 
animated graphic files, and allows you some advanced func- 
tionality for working with a number of files at once. Even on 
the Pocket PC, XnView can be used to crop out a section of 
an image, resize the image, or change the quality for MMS 
optimization. XnView is one of the most powerful image 
viewers available for this platform. 




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"^r: 




Yelp 



Platforms: Blackberry, Symbian, iPhone, Android, Palm 
Website: www.yelp.com 

Yelp isa greatserviceforsharing information about shops, loca- 
tions, deals and any other thing worth talking about in your city. 
Unfortunately the service is available only in the US, and is taking 
off in the UK and Canada, The users of Yelp are extremely pleased 
with the ease at which Yelp allows users to share reviews and per- 
sonalopinionsonanumberoflocalplaces. Everything from places 
to eat to supermarkets are tagged with short and to the point 
reviews, which is a large database of users to dig into. There are 
a number ofviews available, includinga listviewanda mapview. 



m^ 



I YouTube 

Platforms: Windows l^obile, Symbian 
Website: www.youtube.com/yt_mobile_app 

Although browsers such as Opera Mini do a good job of 
rendering YouTube pages and videos on most phones, 
the official YouTube app does a better job at com- 
pressing videos for faster connections. The app itself 
can access YouTube over a WiFi hotspot, and the app 
claims to render video in a better quality than using a 
browser. The most striking and noticeable difference 
is the lack of lag during playback, and the much better 
sound quality 

Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 63 




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Tips Si Tricks 



GnuCash 

For those who find Quicken 
expensive and Tally too tough, 
there's GnuCash - a simple, no- 
frills, multi-purpose budgeting 




Open Source accounting 

and accounting software that's 
open-source, free and can be 
used for both - home and small 
business purposes. Here's a 
quick guide to the basics. 

Get started 

Soon as you start GnuCash, 
you'll need to set up accounts. 
At start up, it asks you whether 
you want to start a new account, 
import a QIF file or use the 
tutorial. Choose the first option 
and the 'OK' button. This 
should open the New Hier- 
archy Account Setup Druid 
(another word for 'Wizard'). 
You could do this through 
the File menu above (File > 
New > New Account Hi er- 
a r c h y ). The Druid helps you 
setup the hierarchy of accounts 
you need. The hierarchy in 
GnuCash must be understood 
in the sequence of F i I e s > 
Account s > Transact i ons 
- Files contain Accounts which 
contain Transactions. 



ft 




TRICKS 

Gnucash 41 

Ultimate Boot CD 43 

WriteMonkey 44 

Fences 46 

Autodesk Homestyler 47 




I Choose Currency 



Please choose the currency to use for new accounts. 



USD (US Dollar) 



M 



GTQ (Guatemalan Quetzal) 
GWP (Guinea-Bissau Peso) 
GVD (Guyanan Dollar) 
HKD (Hong Kong Dollar) 
HNL (Honduran Lempira) 
HRK (Croatian Kuna) 
HTG (Haitian Gourde) 
HUF (Hungarian Forint) 
IDR (Indonesian RUpiah) 
lEP (Irish Punt) 
ILS (Israeli New Shekel) 
INR (Indian Rupee) 
IQD (Iraqi Dinar) i^ 
IRR (Iranian Rial) 
ISK (Iceland Krone) 
ITL (Italian Lira) 
JMD (Jamaican Dollar) 
JOD (Jordanian Dinar) 
JPY (Japanese Yen) 



I 



are familiar to 
Quicken users 
as 'Categories'. 
Check the boxes 
for the kinds of 
accounts you 
want to set up. 
For all domestic 
purposes 
and monthly 
accounting, the 
default 'Common 
Accounts' should 
suffice. Choosing 
a category on the 
left will display 



the subcategories to the right. 
So if you check the 'Invest- 
ment Accounts' box, you'll see 
account subcategories for eve- 
rything associated with your 
investments such as dividends, 
mutual funds and stocks. 

Opening balance 

As you go ahead, you'll need 
to fill in the opening balance 
under individual headings, 
except for Equity and Place- 
holder. Under the 'Current 
Assets' heading, for example, 
the 'Checking Account' is the 
one you usually pull out money 
from for your general expense, 
possibly a bank account with 
a debit card. Similarly, you 
may have a Savings Bank 
Account and some money on 
your person. Assets, Equity 
and Expense are set to 'Place- 
holder' status by default. You 
can fill in the Opening Balances 
in the sub-categories. Select any 
of these (e.g. 'Cash in Wallet') 
and click under the 'Opening 
Balance'. A tab with a cursor 
appears for you to fill in the 
relevant amount. 

Click on 'Forward' and 
'Apply'. To save the account 
you'll need to give it a name 
first. Go to File>Save or 
File>Save As to open the Save 
dialog box and fill in the name 
(e.g. 'Home Accounts') and 



Welcome to GnuCash [ 

There are some predefined actions available that most 
new users prefer to get started with GnuCash. Select one 
of these actions from below and click the Of button or 
press the iTdnire/button if don't vvant to perform any of 
them. 

© iCreate a new set of accounts; 

O Import my QIF files 

O Open the new user tutorial 



Create your first account 

Change the currency, which 
is set by default to US Dollar, 
to INR by either choosing it 
from the drop -down list or by 



Pick from dozens of international 
currency options 

simply typing I N R into the cur- 
rency tab (unless you're 
in another location) and 
go 'Forward'. This will 
take you to the 'Choose 
Accounts to Create' 
window You can create 
different accounts tailor 
made to your needs. 

There are five catego- 
ries of accounts you could 
set up: Assets (stuff you 
own). Liabilities (what 
you owe). Equity (Assets minus 
Liabilities), Income (earning) 
and Expenses (expendi- 
ture). The last two accounts 




Select categories that correspond to the ways that you will use 

GnuCash. Each category you select will cause several n 

accounts to be created. Select the categories that are L^ 

relevant to you. Vou can always create additional accounts by 

hand later. 

Categories Accounts in 'Investment Accounts' 




Selected -^ Account Types _ *l'5ffll 
U Education Loan 
Fixed Assets 

n Home Mortgage Loan % 
n Homeowner Expenses 




G 6 Assets 

13 ft Investments 

Q M Brokerage Account 
ft Bond 
ft Market Index 
ft Mutual Fund 
ft Stock 
e ft Expenses 

ft Commissions 
e ft Income 

ft Dividend Income 

Q ft Interest Income 

ft Bond Interest 










Select All C[ear All 


Ca 


tegory Description 




You would want to select this set of accounts if you have 
nvestments (stockj bondj mutual fundj index fundj interestj 
dividend). 














Cancel | Back Forward 





Sub-accounts within accounts make it simpler 



I www.thinkdigit.com 



I vol 10: 41 



Digit I June 2010 




Tips & Tricks 




If you would like an account to have an opening balancej click 
on the row containing the account^ click again in the opening 
balances columnj and then enter the starting balance, All 
accounts except Equity and placeholder accounts may have 
an opening balance. 

If you would like an account to be a placeholder accountj just 
click the checkbox for that account. 



Account Name 
Assets 

Current Assets 



^ Type 
Asset 
Asset 
Cash 
M Checking Account Bank 
W Savings Account Bank 
El M Equity Equity 

W Opening Balances Equity 
13 .^ Expenses Expense 

W Adjustment Expense 

B ^ Auto Expense 

M Fees Expense 



^^Pjacehqlder Opgi-iin gBalance- 



n I 

n 

D 

zero 

D zero 


D 
□ 

n 



Enter the relevant opening amounts in the tab 



click on 'Save'. GnuCash now 
offers to autosave over short 
durations, a feature that was 
missing earUer. 



Once an Account is saved, 
GnuCash automatically opens 
it when you start the next 
time. By default, the details in 



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General 
















Account name; 
Account code; 
Description; 
Security /currency; 
Smallest fraction; 
Notes; 


Liabilities 1 




1 




liabilities 1 




INR (Indian Rupee) 


[Select.,,] 1 




Use Commodity Value 


-^1 






n Taxrel-:,tcd 
0Placeholder 

Account Type 




D Hidden 
parent Account 






Liability ^! 
Stock — 
jyluibJarFutld ^ 






El ^ New top level account 



Give each account a 
specific name 

the register are read- 
only. To open them 
for editing. Click on 
any of the accounts 
and click on E d i t > 
Edit Account (or use 
the shortcut [Ctrl ] 
+ [ E ] ) and uncheck 
the 'Placeholder' box 
close to the bottom of 
the window. 

Every time you 
want to see the whole 
list of assets and lia- 
bilities according to 



Uncheck 'Placeholder' for editing 



File Edit View Actions 


Business Reports Tools 


■P 


Help 


^^^^^^ 


S K 1 Ed 

Save |.:i£e 1 Open 


a 1 a s 

Edit 1 Wew Pelete 










^ Accounts ]^ Assets 


^ Expenses 


Account Name 
.;. ^Assets 


-■ Descriptioh. 




^ -i 


Total 




Assets 






IMR £5,000.00 




1=1 ^ Current Assets 


Current Assets 






iNIi 25,000.00 




M '-ash in Wallet 


Cash in Wallet 






INR 5,000.00 




M 'IhedJng Account Checking Account 






INR 10,000.00 




HE Savings Account Savings Account 






INR 10,000.00 




B ta Equity 


Equity 






INR 5, 175.00 




M Opening Balances 


Opening Balances 






INR 5, 175.00 




^ ^ Adjustment 


Adjustment 






INR 0.00 




ra ^ Auto 


Auto 






INR 1,500.00 




6 Bank Service Charge Bank Service Charge 






INR 25.00 




^ Books 


Books 






INR 0.00 




^ Cable 


Cable 






INR 0.00 




^ Charity 


Charity 






INR 500.00 




^ Clothes 


Clothes 






INR 1,000.00 




A Compul:er 


Computer 






INR 1,200.00 




^ Dining 


Dining 






INR 400.00 




^ Education 


Education 






INR 0.00 




'J' ^ Entertainment 


Entertainment 






INR 600.00 




^ Gifts 


Gifts 






INR 0.00 




^ Groceries 


Groceries 






INR 0.00 




i, Grand Total; 


Assets; $0 


DO 




Profits! iO.OO 



Click '+' for additional subcategories 



the opening balance you have 
entered, click on the + sign on 
the left of each account title in 
the main GnuCash window. 

Enter a transaction 

Use the Account Register 
window to enter a transaction. In 
the main window of your saved 
account, double-click on the 
sub -account you want to enter 
a transaction into: for example, 
double-click on the 'Checking' 
account under the Asset' top- 
level account. The Account 
Register window will now dis- 
play a row of options starting 



with the date. Choose the date of 
transaction from the drop-down 
calendar that appears when you 
click on the date. 

Press [Tab] to move to the 
next tab. Fill in a number for the 
transaction (presumably, the 
first one so you could type [ 1] ). 
Press [Tab] again. This moves 
you to the description tab 



Date 


Num 


Description 


05/04/2010 




Opening Balance 


05/03/2010 


2 


Groceries! 



Put a label to your transaction 



Hi *monthly account - Checking Act 



File Edit View Transaction Actions 



Save 



Close 



o 

Duplicate 



Delete 



Accounts 



Assets 



Expenses 



Date 



05/04/2010 



^^.^ 



Num 



May 



1 
2 MK 4 5 6 7 8 

9 10^ 11 12 13 14 15 
16 17 18 19 20 21 22 
23 24 25 26 27 28 29 
30 31 



Keep a date-wise record of all your 
transactions 



which is a slot for you to type 
in whatever head you wish to 
put the transaction under 
(e.g. 'Groceries'). 

GnuCash is an auto- 
matic double-entry system 
which means that each 
time you enter a transac- 
tion, you must specify 
Description | another account from 

^ . r. I which the money comes or 

Opening Balancq -^ 

to which the money goes, 
depending on the kind of 
transaction. Under the 
Transfer' column, click 
on the drop-down menu 
and choose 'Expenses: 
Groceries'. Use the mouse 
to click or press the Tab' 
button twice and, under 
the 'Withdrawal' head, fill 
in the amount spent from 
your checking account on 



^ 2010 *■ 



Digit I June 2010 



I vol 10: 42 



I www.thinkdigit.com 



Tips Si Tricks 



groceries (e.g. 112.50). Press the 
Tab' button again (please do 
not hit 'Enter') and GnuCash 
instantly logs the entry in and 
shows you new opening balance 
to work with. 

Generate Reports 

Once you've filled in your 



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'Transaction Report' or 
'Balance Sheet' ( in the 
'Assets and Liabilities' 
menu) for an instant 
report. 

You can change the 
duration of time you wish 
your report to cover by 
using the 'Options' button 
and choosing the 
dates in the 'From' 
and 'To' tabs given 
there. 




Hit Tab' to record each entry, 
transactions, you could get 
GnuCash to generate summary 
reports and balance sheets of 
the income and expense, assets 
and liabilities etc. that you may 
have incurred over a period of 



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Import a QIF file 

Most banks, mutual 
fund houses, etc. provide 
e-statements and the like in 
QIF or OFX formats. You can 
import these easily by going 
toFi I e > I mport > 
I mpor t Ql F or Fi I e 
> I mport > I mport 
OFX/ QFX as the case 
may be. 

This opens the 'QIF' 
import druid. Click 
forward and 'Select' 
in the next window to 
browse your compu- 



Get a time-bound overview of your 
transactions 




Select a QIF file Id load 



Please select a file to load, When you click "Forwarcl"j the file 
will be loaded and analyzed. You may need to answer some 
questions about the account(s) in the file, 



C;\Documents and Settings\Liser 



: 



Easy as a pie 

time.GotoReport s > I ncome 
& Expense > Expense Pi e- 
chart (for example) to see 
a graphic summary of your 
transactions. 

If you don't want the visual 
candy, you could also generate 
more conventional balance 
sheets, register reports or 
detailed transaction reports 
in a similar fashion. Go to 
the Reports menu above and 
click on 'Account Summary', 





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Sheets to keep your balance 



Merge your bank statements 



ter's memory and 
choose the file you 
want to import. 
Note that the QIF 
file must already 
be downloaded 
and existing in one 
of your drives for 
you to locate it. 

Click to select 
and then on the 



Use the innport druid to browse 

'Import' button. You will now 
be able to view 
the statement as 
a GnuCash file. 
Remember that 
GnuCash does 
not add an exten- 
sion like , X ml , but 
automatically com- 
presses and saves 
your files with the 
filename exactly as 
you typed it when 
you saved the file. 
Besides this, it saves 
several back up files 
which could 
be found 

with the same filename 

but a suffix such as 

, X a c added to it. 

Ultimate Boot 
CD 

Ultimate Boot CD is 
a system-fixer with a 
whole lot of apps and 
diagnostic tools to bail 
you out when your 



Boot from your CD 

hard disk gets badly infected, 
you're facing inexplicable 
reboots and sluggish response 
times, or unable to load pro- 
grams altogether. 

Getting started 

Go to http://www.ultimate- 
bootcd.com/ and down- 
load UBCD4 WIN from 
any of the many site 
links provided there 
and their mirrors. You 
could download an 
ISO file directly or 
the zipped EXE file. 
This will take a while 
because it's a heavy file 
so you would perhaps 
find it easier to use it 
directly from the CD provided 
with this issue. Do not extract 
the files into a folder with blank 
spaces in the name. 

Setting up 

Insert the XP (with SPl or SP2) 
CD into your drive to burn the 
single ISO file to it. Remember 
to copy XP into a separate 
folder in your hard disk itself 
to quicken the UBCD build 
process. For this, you could 
create a new folder 'XPCD' in 
one of your hard drives, go to 
Tool s > Fol der Opt i ons 



$> UBCD4Win PE BuiWer License - C:\UBCD4WindowsUJBCD-BUILDER 



LlB.CD4Win PE Buildei' License 



UBCD4Win PE Builder 

Copyright (c) 2004-2006 Benjamin Burrows, All righi:s reserved, 
This program is free software. Use is only allowed under the 
terms of the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows\UBCD4Win Builder 
license (see below) 

ill Fibs included In 



More information about the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows; 
http;//www,ubcd4win,com 



1 , By using and/or opening any packaging enclosing this 
softwarej expanding any compressed file containing this 
software or by utilizing this software^ you agree to be 



I I do not agree | 



From here on it's Like any regular 
installation 



I www.thinkdigit.com 



I vol 10: 43 



Digit I June 2010 




Tips & Tricks 



> View Tab in Windows 
Explorer, allow hidden files 
and folders to be viewed and 
uncheck the H i d e protected 
oper at i ng syst em f i I es 
box. Copy all your XP files into 
this folder. 

When you run the 
UBCD4Win.exe file, follow 
the prompts and accept the 
license agreements,Choose 
not to 'Search for Windows 
installation files' because that 
could take a really long time 
and you've got more important 
bugs to fix. 

Configuring 

When the main window opens, 
you'll need to provide a path 
for UBCD to access XP. This is 
either the folder that you just 
created for XP in your hard 
disk or the CD drive in which 
you already had XP in the first 
place.Ensure that the 'Create 
ISO image' box is ticked and 
there's a filename with '.iso' as 
extension in the box.Otherwise, 
the ISO file will not be created.If 
you don't provide a path, UBCD 
creates one for itself.All other 
settings are best left at default 
at this point. 

Put a blank CD in the drive 
and 'Burn to CD". You could do 
this using general CD-burning 
software like Nero or try spe- 
cialised software like Free ISO 
Burner, IMGBurn, BurnCDCC 
or Active@ ISO Burner most 



(p^ Windows License - C:\UBCD4Windows\XpSP2CD\i386\eula.txt 



@ 



Please note that this license is not for UBCD4Win PE Builder or The Ultimate Boot CD for Windows. 
It is for your windows product! 

Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Home Edition 



N 



END-USER LICENSE AGREEMENT FOR MICROSOFT 
SOFTWARE 

IMPORTANT-READ CAREFULLY; This End-User 
License Agreement ("EULA") is a legal agreement between you 
(either an individual or a single entity) and the manufacturer 
("Manufacturer") of the computer system or computer system 
component ("HARDWARE") with which you acquired the 
Microsoft software product(s) identified on the Certificate 
of Authenticity ("COA") affixed to the HARDWARE or on the 
associated product documentation ("SOFTWARE"), The 
SOFTWARE includes Microsoft computer software^ 
and may include associated media^ printed materials^ "online" 
or electronic documentation^ and Internet based services. 
Notej however^ that any software^ documentation^ or web 



M 



I agree 



I do not agree. 



Windows EULA 



!> UBC04Win PE Bufttfer v3,1 , TOa - Bufltf 



:m 



Error; Warning; 1 

72,54% donSj estimate finisli 5un l^ay 14 1: 
74,74% done; estimate finish 5un l^ay 14 1; 
76,94% donej estimate finisin Sun l^ay 14 1: 
79, 13% done^ estimate finish Sun l^ay 14 1: 
81,33% donej estimate finish Sun l^ay 14 1: 
83,53% done^ estimate finish Sun l^ay 14 1: 
85,73% donej estimate finish Sun l^ay 14 1: 
87,93% done^ estimate finish Sun l^ay 14 l: 
90, 13% donej estimate finish Sun May 14 1: 
92,33% done^ estimate finish Sun May 14 l: 
94,53% donCj estimate finish Sun May 14 l: 
96,73% donCj estimate finish Sun May 14 l: 
98,92% donCj estimate finish Sun May 14 l: 
Tolial translaliion table size; 2048 
Total rockridge attributes bytes 
Total directory bytes; 772946 
Path table size(bytes); 4022 
Max brk space used 2b8000 
227464 extents written (444 MB) 
ISO sUccesFully created 



; 17:22 2006 
: 17:22 2006 
: 17:22 2006 
: 17:20 2006 
:17:212006 
:17:212006 
:17:212006 
:17:212006 
:17:212006 
:17:212006 
:17:212006 
: 17:20 2006 
: 17:20 2006 



^ 



;: 320425 



aUtobuild,cmd finished at 

Version; 2,0 beta4 

Date; Sun 05/14/2006 

Time; 12:17:21,86 

Extra debuging output can be found in C;\UBCD4Windows\UBCD-BUILDER-RC6\autobuild,log 



Building ISO image done 

Building done.,. 

There where errors and 1 warnings 

LJse the [<<] and [>>] buttons to jump to Error/Warning. 

Saved this log to: C;\UBCD4Windows\UBCD-BUILDEP-RC6\pebUild^ 



-i 



\E 



A^ 



UBCD built 

of which are free to download 
from the web. 

Starting up 

Depending on what you need to 
do (check for malware, remove 
viruses, simply reboot, etc.) you 



HSlEm 



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might prefer to click on the 

'plug-ins' button and choose 

to customize your tools. Click 

'close' and then 'build', allow 

it to proceed through its steps. 

The first time you build you'll 

first see the Windows End User 

Agreement window. Once the 

process is over, click on C I S e 

and Exit. Don't forget to burn 

the ISO file to your CD. 

If you want to boot from 
a flash drive, plug it into the 
USB port, right-click on the 
icon of the drivein My Com- 
puter and click on f r ma t 
to reformat the entire drive. 
Double-click on f i x u b c d 2 , 
bat in the UBCD folder you've 
created and click on the USB 
drive letter (e.g. 'F').You will 
have to either, first burn the 
ISO file to a CD (or extract it in 
your hard disk) and then run 



t ool s\ ubcd2usb\ ubcd2usb. 
b a t to write UBCD to the USB 
drive.Now your boot CD or 
Flash Drive is ready. 

Testing 

If the computer you're working 
on needs to be tested or fixed, 
restart the computer with the 
CD in the drive. Otherwise, shift 
the CD into the drive of the com- 
puter that's giving you trouble 
and restart. Access the compu- 
ter's BIOS (usually by pressing 
[ Fll] or [ Del ] at startup). 
Enable booting from the CD (or 
USB, as the case may be) so that 
the computer by-passes your 
hard disk and boots directly 
from the external drive. 

Checking your RAM 

UBCD allows you to check 
your RAM too by using tools 
like MemTest -86 v3.5 among 
others. You could even test your 
monitor or CDROM using the 
Peripheral Tools option 
from the Mai n boar d tool 
menu.The S y s I n f o option 
analyses your entire system 
and provides the information 
in a nutshell, including the 
motherboard, memory and 
BIOS. You can even run a virus 
check using several different 
anti virus tools such as Avira 
and McAfee Stinger. 

WriteMonkey 

Made by a company in Slovenia, 
WriteMonkey is a text editor 
that turns your entire screen 
into a monochrome text file with 
a black background, getting rid 
of clutter and distractions and 
letting you focus entirely on 
the words rather than the for- 
matting and grammar. At the 
same time, it has a whole lot of 
essential features and shortcuts 
that are easy to use and make 
you start wondering why we 
needed all those toolbars in the 
first place. The download is free 
and the portability of the soft- 
ware ensures minimum intru- 
sion on your hard disk. 



Digit I June 2010 



I vol 10: 44 



I www.thinkdigit.com 



Tips Si Tricks 



Setting up 

Download the latest stable ver- 
sion of WriteMonkey for from 
http://writemonkey.com/download. 
php#latest. It's portable and needs 
no installation; just extract and 
double click on the 'm' icon in 
the WriteMonkey folder that is 
created to start writing. 



DOWNLOAD 



Better than Dark Room or 
LightRoom for Mac 

Using the keyboard 

Most apps give you tips on 
start up. WriteMonkey does 
it differently by displaying a 
little green window with the 
heading 'monkey says' and a 
some part-clever, part-funny 
quote you'd typically see on 
t-shirts. 

If you find this irritating, 
you can go to E d i t > Pref- 
erences (or press [ F 1 ] ) and 
uncheck the box which says 
'Show 'Monkey says' at launch' 
- but we suspect the quotes 
will keep you hooked - and 
click on K . The next time you 
access WriteMonkey, you'll go 
straight to the text editor. 

Progress report 

Another terrific thing about this 
text editor is that it gives you live 
statistics about the text you've 
been typing. After you've typed 
for a bit, just hit [ F 1 2 ] or go to 



View > Progress from the 
drop down menu above. Write- 
Monkey gives you an easily 
understandable list of statis- 
tics ranging from the number 
of words, characters and para- 
graphs you've typed to the 
average number of letters you 
type per sentence. It gets even 
better when you find you can set 
time limits and word limits for 
each document. If you're sure 
there should be a fixed number 
of words in the document (every 
journalist's constraint), simply 
click in the 'Limit text to' tab and 
fill in the word limit. You could 
even restrict the time taken to 
type the document by enabling 
the stop watch facility. Click 
on the 'Start' button above the 
line of text which says T i me r 
status: Dl SABLE Dafteryou've 
filled in the time limit in the tabs 
above it. Instantly, the D i s a - 



WriteMonkey 



monkey says 

Careful , I know Karate and a few 
other foreign words , . , 

[dose] 

Veraion 0.9,3,0 © pomaranchi_ 2007-2010 



Quips instead of tips 



Answers.com and [Al t ] +[ 2 ] 
for Reference.com). You could 
also go to V i e w > L o o k u p s for 
the same purpose. 

Changing colours 

Over a period of time the mono- 
chrome look of WriteMonkey 
may get tedious. A great feature 
that can assist you here is the 



^^^^^D 



Stat 1 Count 


Characters 287 


Nonspaces 1 232 


Words 1 B2 


Sentences , 1 


Avg. chars per sentence , 287 


Paragraphs , 1 


Pages (words/ 300) i 0.2 






Work done 


5% 


Time left 


n/a 










































— 





S is part of IhFo bar ptogfesS string 



.Use -unit: Words 



#J H' Show ui 



.^_Umit text to: \Z 1000 __ J ^ Show percent 



is part of Info bar progress strjil^ 



Sprint writing (countdown tinner) 

is part of Info bar progress string 




Tinner status: DISABLED 



Cancel J 






CIRL'V 

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Like a big blackboard 



Press Fl for instant assistance 

bled status will turn to R U N - 
N I N G which means the timer 

has begun the countdown. 

Don't forget to click on K to 

save your settings. 

Lookups 

The Lookup feature lets 
you check up the meaning, 
synonyms and pronun- 
ciation of a word directly 
from WriteMonkey. 
Simply select a word and 
right-click on it to open the 
really long list of options 
in the context menu. Click 
on 'Lookups' and choose 
the site you want infor- 



mation from. 
WriteMonkey 
gives you 
direct access 
to key sites 
like Wikipedia, 
Answers.com, 
Reference.com, 
and Thesaurus, 
com among 
others. You can 
even skip the 
mouse entirely. 
Just select the 
word and use shortcuts for 
direct access to these sites 
through your default internet 
browser ([ Al t ] +[ 1 ] for 




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P AIm^ EkrtM feA^I ukl 



Get rid of the smart one-Liners 



Set progress controls 

'Generate new random colors' 
option. Simply press! Al t ] +[ L] 
and watch the screen change into 
different background and font 
colour combinations. 

Jumps 

WriteMonkey lets you jump 
straight to headings or para- 
graphs of your choice with the 
cool 'Jump' feature. You can 
toggle this feature on or off with 
the shortcut [ A I t ] + [ J ] or go to 
Vi ew > J umps from the menu 
above. Like the sidebar in MS 
Office 2010, once you click on 
a particular heading 
or paragraph, it's 
immediately selected 
in the document for 
you to edit. 



Export 
snippets 

You can even export 
small portions of 
text as separate 
text files into MS 
Word or your web 
browser. Simply 



I www.thinkdigit.com 



I vol 10: 45 



Digit I June 2010 




Tips & Tricks 



select the text you want, right 
click and click on Ma r k up 
Export in the context menu. 
Choose where you want to 
export the text and click on the 
Export button. This will create 
a new temporary file which 
contains the selected text only. 







2 :;r::r« 






o ^ 

** 






:: ■^►*jn 




Hop to relevant sections of the docunnent 



Direct Links to key dictionary 
websites are a big help 

Toggle full screen 

It doesn't have to be all black 
on your screen. You can toggle 
it to a smaller-sized window by 
hitting the Escape button or hit 
[ F 1 1 ] for the same effects. 

Fences 

There are lots of applications out 
there that promise to take care 







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you'll wonder 
how you 

could ever do 
without it or 
why Windows 
7 didn't include 
this feature 
natively. 



Move portions to other document editors 



at start-up. You can either 
choose to create your own 



give you iiva statistics about the tssrt you've Jj^en 
typing. Aft*r you-^ve typ«d f«r a ti^ii juEt hit F12 or go 

Statistics ranging from Th^ nywtsr of wfjeds, chflcact^r^ 
and paragraphs you^ve typ-ad to i:h« av^rag^ nUbb^E: of 

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do c^ume At . 



Bring colour back to the screen 

of your desktop icon clutter. 
But none comes close to the eye 
candy and organisation ability 
of this little app. 

Getting started 

Download the application from 
http://www.stardock.com/products/ 
fences/downloads.asp and install. 
After you reboot your PC, 
Fences will launch automati- 
cally and give you two options 



Fences (for advanced users) 
or Start using Fences directly, 
in which case it'll create a few 
Fences automatically to help 
you get started. We recommend 
you choose the latter and click 
on "Sort out my icons". A good 
feature here is that your current 
icon positions will be backed 
up just in case you feel like 
reverting back. But we think 
once you've given Fences a go. 



Create a 
Fence 

If you choose 
the 'sort out my 
icons' option 
most of your 
required Fences like recent, pro- 
grams, quick links are already 
created. However you may need 
some more of your own. To create 
new Fences simply hold down 
the right click button, mark out 
an area on the desktop and click 
'create new Fence here'. 

Change the look 

The application allows you to 
customise a number of things 
with respect to the look and feel 



of the Fences you create. In the 
application interface, click on 
the Customize tab. Here you fill 
find sliders to adjust the Trans- 
parency, Brightness, Hue, and 
Saturation. The Hue slider will 
allow you to change the colour 
of the Fences. You can choose a 
colour that complements your 
wallpaper well. 

Rename, resize, move 

At times you may not like the 
default names of the Fences. 
Fear not you can easily change 
the labels to your liking. Simply 
right-click on a Fence and click 
Rename Fence. To resize a 
Fence, click and drag the edge 
of the Fence. If the Fence size is 
smaller than what is required to 
fit the icons it contains, you will 
get a scroll bar once you hover 
over it. To move a Fence click 
and drag its label or top area. 

Quick hide options 

One of the most amazing features 
of this little app is the ability to 
hide your desktop icons simply 
by double clicking a blank space. 
But what if you want to exclude 
a few icons from this quick 
hide feature? To do this right-click 
on any icon and check 'Exclude 
this icon from quick-hide'. This 
can be done for a particular Fence 
too. Right-click on a Fence, go to 
view and check 'Exclude this 
Fence from quick-hide' 

Chance text colour 

Sometimes changing the text 
colour of labels to match the 
wallpaper is the one thing that 




Size matters 



Digit I June 2010 



I vol 10: 46 



I www.thinkdigit.com 



Tips Si Tricks 



makes a difference between 
a nice looking desktop and a 
'wow' desktop. To change text 
colour, go into the customise 
tab and click Change label text 
colour. A standard palette will 
open allowing you to change 
colour according to your liking. 

Fences layouts 

There are a few default layouts 
available within Fences. Such 
as the "Left & Right" or "All 
bottom" layout etc. To view 
layout options go to the Fences 



Fences pro 



; The pro version of this software : 
which is available for $10 has a 
host of added features. 

• Auto organise icons by file type 

• Create rules forauto organising 
into Fences Lil<e recent, most 
used, etc. 

• Further Fence customisation 

tab in the application interface 
and select the appropriate 
layout from the drop down 
list. Once you select one you 
can take a peek at the desktop 
and see how it looks. The option 
to revert to previous layout is 
available right there. 

Change icon size 

Some people prefer huge 
chunky icons while others 
prefer to maintain the look of 
their desktop and want icons to 





I 






lf y^^Jfli 



A neatly sorted desktop 

be barely visible. Fences allows 
you to change icon size too. 
Right click on any Fence and 
hover your cursor over View. 
Here you'll find three sizes to 
choose from Large Medium 
and Classic. The latter being 
the smallest size. 

Autodesk Home- 
styler 

The Autodesk Homestyler (for- 
merly Project Dragonfly) is an 
online home design software 
that is easy and intuitive and 
likely steal away a lot of Google 
SketchUp fans. You can make 
quick designs to preview plans 
for your own home or your 
client within minutes, save 
them online and access them 



and allows you to share designs 
with any of the buddies in your 
list with just a few clicks. I 
advise a little caution, though, 
because my browser just told 
me that the Facebook link is 
spurious and seems to connect 
to a phishing site instead. 

Arranging 

All of Homestyler's controls 
are on the right. The vertical 
menu on the right is the cata- 
logue which allows you to (a) 
build the basic floor plan with 
square or 'L' shaped rooms, (b) 




Change label tett color,,, 



O OLittine fence areas 

|V] Fade out scrollbars when inactive 



Fences interface showing various custonnisation options 




The Left and Right Layout applied by Fences 



from anywhere with just an 
internet connection. 

Getting started 

You can get started with your 
designs immediately, but to 
save them you'll need an 
account. Fill in your details 
but make sure that the email 
id is valid. Don't forget to 
check the 'Terms of use' agree- 
ment box before you click on 
Create Account & Sign 
i n button. 

If you wish to avoid the 
hassle of remembering another 
password, Homestyler lets you 
register with any of the most 
popular email and social net- 
working accounts like Gmail, 
Yahoo, Windows Live and 
Facebook. Just click on any of 
the large buttons below and fill 
in your account details. This 
is really useful for designers 
because Homestyler syncs 
your account with this one 



Arrange items like furniture 
etc. in the rooms you've made 
(c) Stretch surfaces as land- 
scapes and (d) even incorporate 
branded stuff into your design 
like Kohler kitchen sinks, 
Merillat kitchen cabinets, etc. 
Just left of the vertical menu 
are the controls that allow you 
to toggle between 2D and 3D, 
zoom in and out, view your 
design full screen, etc. Now 
that you're in and figured out 
the basics, let's get designing. 

Creating new designs 

Click on the 'New' button in 
the set of tools above to begin a 
new design. You could create 
a new design from scratch or 
start off with one of the tem- 
plates already provided. Ide- 
ally one should create a room, 
add furniture and finishing 
touches and then switch to 3D 
to take a more realistic look at 
the design. 



I www.thinkdigit.com 



I vol 10: 47 



Digit I June 2010 



Tips & Tricks 



Start making a floor plan 
with the 'Get Started Now' 
button. You could start off by 
using the mouse to click and 
drag a room into the central 
plan area. Once that's done, 
Homestyler offers you more 
stuff to do like setting up walls, 
wall-openings, internal areas. 



Alterations 

Add walls within the room to 
segment it into smaller rooms. 
Click on the 'Wall' option in 
the 'Drag and Drop into rooms' 
section, hold down the mouse 
button and drop the wall at the 
point you wish to partition the 
room. You can even click on the 




A simple tool for your complicated designs 



closets, etc. Choose the ones you 
want and fit them in by a simple 
drag-and-drop action. In a short 
while you should be able to set 
up a design quite easily. 

Modifying rooms 

Once you've created a room, 
you may want to make an 
opening somewhere. Click 
on any of the walls and then 
click on the split option. Split 
the wall at the two edges of the 
door you want to create. Click 
on the split segment and click 
on 'Demolish wall'. 



outer-edge walls and drag them 
around to stretch the rooms 
into larger ones. 

Add furniture into the 
rooms by clicking on the 
'Furnish and Decorate' 
button to reveal a whole lot 
of items. For example, you'll 
need to put doors into a 
wall you just made. Choose 
'Doors and Windows' from 
the drop-down 'All Products' 
menu. You can now choose 
from whole variety of French 
doors, interior doors, etc. Click 
on the one you want, drag it into 




Basic controls 

the wall opening drop it there. 
Windows can be added into 
walls in a similar fashion. 

Decoration 

You can decorate the entire 
room with sofas, seats, tel- 
evision sets, computers, and 
cupboards - everything you 
could possibly see in typical 
home. For everything related 
to rooms choose the 'Rooms' 
option instead of 'Products'. 
You can now find all items 



o 



New Design 
Start from scratch 



from the inven- 
tory on the 
right, simply 
use the dupli- 
cate button that 
becomes visible 
when you've 
J just added 
something in. 
So, for instance, 
if you'd like the 
same kind of 
potted plant in 
different spots around the 
house, just click on 'Duplicate', 
click on the copy that appears 
and drag and drop it to the 
appropriate place. 

The right thing to do once 
you're done with your design 
is switch to 3D for a better 
view. The 3D view is terrific 
because the walls turn trans- 
parent and you can see the 
entire design in one go. Use 
the 'Rotate Clockwise' and 
'Rotate Counterclockwise' 
buttons to turn the design 
around and zoom in for a 



Choose Bi gallery design 



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You can use preset designs to build on 



related to particular kinds of 
rooms (bedrooms, bathrooms, 
etc.) together and quickly fill up 
the house with stuff. 

The cool thing about 
Homestyler is that if the item 
you drop in a particular area 
doesn't fit, it automatically 
moves into a position in which 
it does - or informs you that 
there's not enough space. 

Once you've added in a piece 
of furniture, for example, you 
might feel that there should 
be more than one of these 
around the house. Instead of 
going through the motions of 
dragging and dropping them 



Save your designs 

Save your design either 
by clicking on the little 'i' 
button on the top right of 
your screen or by opting to 
save when you exit. Give 
it a suitable title. You can 
opt to make this public if 
you wish or, if you're too 
embarrassed like I was, check 
the option which says 'No, 
keep private'. Once it's save, 
you can share it. Homestyler 
flashes a dialog box saying you 
've saved it successfully and 
asking whether you'd like to 
share the design you've made. 
Click on the 'Share this 
design' button on the top right 
of the window if you've missed 
the 'Share' option when you 
saved the design. Click on the 
appropriate option, go through 
the motions of adding tag 
words or descriptions to your 
design and launch it into the 
World Wide Web. H 



Digit I June 2010 



I vol 10: 48 



I www.thinkdigit.com 



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Q&A 



Cooler PS3 

Sony rumoured to have move to 45nm RSX chips 
on their new Playstation 3 console 



Kins @ 600MHz 

600MHz NVIDIA Tegras to power the two 
IMicrosoft's Kin mobile phones 



Unstable CPUs, cards, and connections 



We give you the keys to all your PC problems 



[£j I have been going through this mental 
trauma and that's the reason I seek your 
help. I've been using a system which is 
just six months old and its configuration is 
as follows - 

• AMD Phenom 9950 Quad-processor 

• Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-US2H board 

• Seagate ST3500418AS 500GB HDD 

• ADATA 2 GB DDR2 RAM 

The system is experiencing sudden 
lockups with the internet connection turned 
on and at times, without the internet 
connection. Generally, I go for an abrupt 
power shutdown and the next time it boots 
it shows me error popup windows and 
makes a log file. Gradually, my PC started 
showing blue screens which I believe 
happen due to the abrupt shutdown. The 
hard disc has created bad sectors. Now 
I thought an option like increasing the 
amount of memory. 

Sourin Saha 

S The problem you are facing could be 
due some corrupt drivers. Quite simply, a 
format and clean installation of Windows 
should fix it. Before that, a solution to try 
out would be reinstalling the network 
adapter drivers. Head over to Realtek's 
site and download the latest drivers for it. 

[§j Poor data connection 

I have an Idea SIM card, and I stay in 
the remote areas of Goa, so my signal 
strength is only a single bar. I also have a 
Tata Indicom walky with a signal receiving 
antenna connected from my window sill. I 
disconnected that antenna, and connected 
the normal small antenna, and found that 
when I put the phone in a certain spot in 
the air, I would get at least two bars of 
signal. So I thought that I would get the 
same for Tata Docomo, but since I bought 
it, I discovered that the signal strength is 
null. So, my mother was furious with me 
for wasting money on it. What should I do? 
Should I throw the SIM out? Is there any 
way to get signal? 

Kiran 



Q Unfortunately, if there's absolutely no 
signal, there's not a lot that can be done. 
Try checking from other rooms in your 
house to see if you a better connection. 
Before going in for a new connection, ask 
people in your area for suggestions on the 
best service. 

^ Drivers installed, yet missing 

Hi, I have following system configuration. 

• AMD Athlon X2 7750 BE 
•3 GB RAM 

•320 GB HDD 

• Jetway PA74m5 

The motherboard has Radeon 2100 
onboard graphics. It shows that display 
adapter drivers are there but shows an 
error in video controller. I've also attached 
an image of my problem 

Aakash Malhotra 

The drivers might have got corrupted 
somehow. Try uninstalling the drivers 
and reinstalling the latest version from 
www.amd.com. 

S] New phone's screen goes blank 

1 just bought a Sony Ericsson W705 and 
today, its screen has gone blank! What's the 
problem with it? 

Ren 

Q Try recharging the battery before you 
power the cell phone on. Sometimes, just 
keeping the phone connected to the 
mains helps. It could be a case of a poor 
battery as well. If the phone keeps doing 
it even after trying all these things, take it 
back to the shop or service centre for a 
replacement or repair. 

[E Flashing display in games 

I have some queries about my computer. 
My system's configuration is as follows - 

• Gigabyte 945GCM-S2L motherboard 

• Intel Core 2 Duo E7300 @ 2.66 GHz 
•1GBDDR2RAM 

•160 GB HDD 

• HCL 15-inch CRT monitor 



• Samsung Octo Edge DVD RW 

• MSI 9500GT DDR2 video card 

I have just purchased EA FIFA 2009 
but when I try to run the game, my moni- 
tor goes blank and it began to flash. I don't 
know why it's happening. 

I also want to know whether i 
can connect my pc to my Sony Bravia 
KLV-26S400A LCD TV. Can I play games 
like FIFA 2010 at minimum resolution 
please clear my doubts 

Sanjay 

S Try reinstalling your graphics card 
drivers and see if it helps. If your 
graphics card and TV both have HDMI 
ports, it should work without any 
problems. 

E CPU running too hot? 

The temperature of my processor goes 
up to 55C even at night. My room is very 
well ventilated. The configuration of my 
computer is as follows: 

• AMD Phenom X3 8450 

• ASUS M2N68-AM motherboard 
•2 GB OF RAM 

• VIPSMPS 

• 250 GB Seagate HDD 





















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Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



73 



Q&A 



Happy Birthday Hubble 

NASA ceLebrated the 20th anniversary of 
the HubbLe Space Telescope on 24th April 



Big Bang DXll 

MSI adds DirectX 11 support to the SLI-CrossFire 
supporting Big Bang Fuzion motherboard 



I have enabled the Q-fan and its 
speed remains around 3600 rpm when 
the temperature of the CPU is at 52C. Is 
my processor running too hot and need to 
install the chassis fan in cabinet? 

Vijay Rawat 

u The temperature of 55C isn't extremely 
hot, so there's nothing to be worried 
about. Adding a chassis fan will help a 
little bit. 

Ej Overclocked, failed, now system 
won't boot 

IMy system configuration is Intel Core 2 
Duo E7500, Asus P5KPL-AM motherboard, 
NVIDIA GeForce 9800GT, 4 GB RAM, 
450W PSU and UMAX cabinet. I'm going 
crazy since my computer crashed due to 
the overclocking. I do not know what i 
did. I'm not a computer expert. I changed 
the voltage of memory and increased the 
DRAM speed. When I press the power 
button monitor does not show anything but 
the CPU fan works. 

Athar Muneeb 

S Messing around with memory timings 
and voltages, or any other components 
for that matter, has risks. Overclockers 
usually buy hardware that has been 
designed to be overclocked to some 
extent. Most value products will fail or 
get damaged in the overclocking process. 
In your case, try resetting the CMOS 
settings using the jumper on the moth- 
erboard or using a CMOS clear button 
if one is available. Once that's done, set 
the jumper back to the original position. 
Then, try powering on the system. If 
nothing works, there's most likely some 
damage to the RAM or board. Try using 
one stick of RAM at a time. The next step 
would be use a completely different stick 
of RAM. If neither of the sticks works, 
you need new RAM. Before that, make 
sure your motherboard is still func- 
tioning by using another stick of memory. 

E 1 GB sufficient for Windows 7? 

I am a regular reader of Digit. My system 
configuration is an Intel Pentium 4 
2.66GHz, Intel DIOIGGC motherboard, 60 
GB HDD, 446 MB RAM (it has come down 
from 512 MB). I will be buying another 



512Mb of RAM. I use Windows XR 
Is the system good enough to run 
Windows 7? 

Pranav Kumar 

S The 1 GB of RAM will allow 
you to just about run Windows, 
although it's not recommended if 
you use lots of system heavy 
software. 

[§j Flash drive always being 
accessed 

Whenever I try to format the pen 
drive, an error message appears 
"This drive is in use. Please try 
quitting any drive utility and then 
try". What should I do? I don't 
install any antivirus because they 
make my computer slow? Please 
reply. 

Arpit Jain 



AutoPlay 



Semj FeErJba'Ck czi 



>M 



. Removable Disk (£:) 

I I Alway;:. dc thi: for :cftvvare and cjame: 
Install or run program 



Open fblder ta view files 
* Published by Microsoft Windovvs 



General options 

I Open fioldef to view files 
j using Windows Explorer 

Ub| Use this drive fbr backup 
" j^^ '-'^''^3 VVindov-;s Backup 

r i!S Speed up my system 

■^ ^ using Windows ReadyBoost 



V'ief.'M more AutoPJay option: in Control Panel 



The Autorun window is one of the easiest ways of 
triggering a virus fronn a flash drive 



Q There must be a worm or virus on the 
PC itself which keeps accessing the flash 
drive. Try formatting the flash drive on a 
different PC to see if it helps. Make sure 
you don't click the Autorun window 
buttons while plugging in the drive. 
Instead, go to Windows Explorer and 
choose to Explore the drive using the 
right-click menu. 

[Sj Overclocking an AMD X4 945 

I have a new processor and motherboard 
and am looking forward to overcLock it. 

My system configuration is: 
•CPU:AMDPhenon2X4 945 

• Motherboard: Gigabyte MA790GP-UD4H 

• Memory: 3 GB DDR2 800MHz 

• HDD(s): WD 500 GB Green, WD 250 GB 
BLue 

• Graphics card(s): MSI 9600GT 512MB 
DDR3 

• Power Supply: CM Extreme Power Plus 
500W 

Cool PC Guy Ken from ThinkDigit Forum 

S If you don't know what you're doing, 
don't go around overclocking unless you 
have plans to upgrade real soon. Don't 
directly jump straight into fooling around 
with voltages. With default voltages, the 
FSB will get you a decent overclock. See 



what kind of stability and temperatures 
you get. I hope you're using a good cooler; 
anything under 60C under load is fine. 

Sj Display flickering problem 

I'm an avid reader of your magazine. When 
I switch on my PC, it starts smoothly but 
when it displays the Windows XP desk- 
top, the screen starts flicking on and off 
frequently. The screen display squeezes. 
Whenever I reinsert the memory into the 
slot, it works fine for one or two restarts 
but after that, the problem continues. My 
system configuration is as follows - Intel 
Pentium 4 1.4 GHz, 512 MB RAM, 160 GB 
hard disk. 

I have MS Encarta Student Premium 
2007. When I insert the CD in the drive, it 
autoruns and starts the software setup but 
after some steps, it shows that the .NET 
Framework 2.0 file is corrupted or miss- 
ing or low memory space. I downloaded 
the same file from the net but after that, 
it installed properly but as soon as I start 
the software, it displays half of the screen. 
After that, an error appears asking me 
to report the error to Microsoft. I tried 
the software on my laptop but the soft- 
ware installed properly but it did not run 
perfectly. 

Manali Khatri 



74 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tliinkdigit.conn 



New DXll benchmark 

Stone Giant, a new DirectX 11 
benclimarl< is Launclied 



Q&A 



The screen problems might be to do with the monitor itself. If 
it's a 15 or 17- inch CRT, try setting the display resolution to 
1024x768 or so. 

For the Encarta problem, try uninstalling the .NET frame- 
work and reinstall it. Make sure your C: partition has enough 
space (2GB or more). If you think the system memory might be 
to blame, run Memtest86+ on your system to check for RAM 
errors. 

Ej Sparking screen 

1 have a Zenitli Laptop witli a Core 2 Duo processor 2.00 GHz, 2 
GB RAM and 320 GB HDD. I have a strange problem. A green Line 
is sparking horizontaLLy over the task bar of my desktop. I have 
consuLted with the company as it was under warranty and they 
have changed the LCD. At first the probLem went away, but after 
three days, the same Line again started to spark at the bottom 

of my desktop. I have aLso formatted my hard disk and used 
Windows Vista Business but it hasn't fixed the probLem. The Line 
started to spark constantLy when I played videos from my HDD, 
but otherwise, it sparks after a coupLe of minutes. Any soLutions? 

Ranjit Borah 

S If there are actual sparks on the screen for whatever reason, 
then you need to take the laptop to the service centre again. If 
not, try booting into the BIOS screen and see if that flashing 
line still shows up. Then, you can rule out any software issues 
with Windows if at all. 

E Green dots everywhere 

When I run a game, the game intro video pLays but when I start 
to pLay the game, my system hangs. I re-instaLLed my graphics 
drivers. IMy CPU heatsink isn't cLogged with dust and every thing 
seems to be good. ,IMy InteL desktop manager shows good status 
on my components. I aLso removed and refit my card into the 
system. 

StiLL, when I run a game, my system hangs with smaLL green 
dots and inverted triangLes on the screen. IMy probLem seems to 
be different and difficuLt to resoLve! 
IMy configuration is as foLLows: 

• InteL Core 2 Quad 6600 

• InteL G33fb 

• 4 GB DDR2 RAM 

• 600WSMPS 

• 500GB HDD 

• NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT 512MB 

Pranav Swaroop 

S That memory hub controller temperature looks high. Green 
dots or any kind of grainy display is indicative of heating 
memory or graphics card. Shut the PC off, and quickly but 
very carefully, try touching the northbridge heatsink and then 
the graphics card heatsink. You'll know immediately if they're 
extremely hot. If the card is faulty or if the fan is running slow, 
then you need to have it repaired. 



v. Verbatirh 

^ Technology you can trust 




Your digital life in the 

piam of your hand! 

Introducing the mobile Hard Drive From Verbatim 
small enough for your pocket, big enough for your digital life. 




Widely Compatible Faster Data Easy To Carry 

Transfer Speed 




Available in 
"^ 320GB, 500GB 



www.verbatim.com 



A Mitsubishi Kagaku Media Company 




Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.com 



75 



Tried & tested 



88 



Cell phone test 

Which handset should you go in for? 



108 



HDTV test 

Value for money HDTVs battle it out 



Canon EOS 550D 

The D5000 has company 




Specifications 

18 MP sensor, 18-55 mm lens 

kit, sensor size: 22.3 x 14.9 

mm, shutter speed: l/4000th 

- 30 sec, sensor sensitivity: 

100 - 6400 ISO, 3-inch LCD 

Dimensions: 128.8 x 97.5 x 

75.3 mm, weight: 475 g (body) 

Contact 

Canon India Private Limited 

Phone:1800-345-33-66 

E-mail: info@canon.co.in 

Web site: www.canon.co.in 

Price: Rs 51,995 




Build Quality 7.5 

Features 8 

Performance 7 

Value for money 6.5 



Enthusiasts, photog- 
raphers and spe- 
cifically Canon fans 
would have been 
excited and awaiting the release 
of the EOS 550D or the snazzy 
Rebel T2i as its better known 
as in other regions of the world. 
The upper mid-range DSLRs 
segment seems to be domi- 
nated by the Nikon D90 and the 
entry-mid range by the recent 
D5000. The Canon EOS 500D 
has been around and the 550D 
was expected and it's finally 
here. 

The 18-megapixel sensor 
works out to a resolution of 
5184 X 3456. The lens kit we 
received with our 550D was the 
common 18-55 mm (3x optical 
zoom equivalent). The Nikon 
D90 normally comes with a 
18-105 mm zoom lens but let's 
not forget it costs a bit more 
than the 550D. Liveview looks 
like a growing trend now. This 
camera has it too. 

The camera body is sturdy 



and it feels slightly more 
bulky and larger than the EOS 
lOOOD, and similarly placed 
models from Nikon. The right 
hand grip is very good although 
the other half of the camera has 
the very silky smooth plastic 
feel to it which we aren't par- 
ticularly fond of. 

The placement of buttons 
and controls are similar to the 
Nikon DSLRs for the most part. 
The ISO button is placed some- 
what weirdly on top near the 
jog dial. The jog dial on a fresh 
550D is a little more resistant 
to movement than the Nikon. 
While the Nikons operate 
by holding down the control 
button and rotating the jog dial, 
the EOS 550D does the same 
for all the controls except for 
the ISO. Here, you are expected 
to click the ISO button and 
change the setting for it. This 
just seems a little weird. Two 
dials dedicated for two controls 
would have been a nice thing 
to have. 

The camera focuses quickly 
and uses multiple bursts of flash 
whenever necessary. Manual 
focussing is made simple as 
well in a couple of ways. For 
one, if you choose a spot focus 
mode, you can use the focus 
ring while holding down the 
shutter release, and the camera 
will beep to alert you that the 
object is in focus. Another fea- 
ture is the zoom feature while 
focussing. Normally, the button 
would be used to zoom into cap- 
tured images. While shooting, 
you can now zoom in Liveview 
and get accurate control over 
the focus. With that little extra 
time, you can now get flawless 
images. The large 3-inch LCD 
screen comes handy. 



Video recording is sup- 
ported and it can do upto 1080p 
at 30 fps. This takes it a step 
over the D5000 and even the 
D90. Canon claims to do 12 min- 
utes of 1080p on a 4GB memory 
card. A 45 second video took 
around 240MB at 1080p. 

The camera captures detail 
well but there is visible colour 
fringing along bright colours. 
ISO performance is good. There 
is little noise up to 800 and 
1600 range. 3200 and 6400 
are available and offer good 
performance in low light areas. 
Colours are pretty natural and 
the camera does try and bal- 
ance lighting even if you set to 
manual modes. The lens on the 
wide range gives a somewhat 
warped image. If you're buying 
a camera, we suggest going in 
for a more capable lens. Macro 
shots are easy to take and por- 
trait shots come out pretty well 
under natural light. The flash 
isn't very powerful. 

Canon has also made 
upgrades to its interface. 
Things are made simpler; the 
interface has the cosmetic blur 
effect while switching between 
menus. If you're tired of the 
black and white control screen, 
you even have the option to 
switch to other colour presets. 

The Canon EOS 550D isn't 
an upgrade going from say 
an old EOS 400D or even a 
500D. If you're a point and 
shoot camera user, the 550D 
makes sense but it's difficult 
to advice people to go in for 
it. The good 'ol Nikon D90 is 
always an option, which is a 
step up on the EOS 550D and 
even the D5000. At Rs. 51,995, 
it doesn't fall into everyone's 
budget. 



76 



Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



Hotmail upgrade 

Latest HotmaiL upgrade adds features such as 
Sweeping tooL and Active View 



New Samsung S8500 

Samsung Launclies tine Wave S8500 in 
Germany; it's powered by an 1 GHz processor 



Bazaar 



HP Pavillion dms 1005AX 

An ultrasleek notebook with decent performance 



The HP Pavillion dm3 
1005AX notebook 
is an ultra sleek 13.3 
inch notebook which 
houses the AMD Turion Neo X2 
processor. The processor has a 
speed of 1.6 GHz which is gener- 
ally seen in netbooks, but this 
one is a dual core processor. An 




ultrasleek form factor means 
that this notebook does not come 
with an optical drive. The idea 
behind ultra sleek notebooks is 
to give higher computing and 
hardware options than a typical 
netbook. It comes bundled with 
Windows 7 Home premium 
along with 4 GB of DDR2 RAM. 
The silver plastic brush metal 
finish is aesthetically pleasing. 
The flap opens up to show a chi- 
clet keyboard with a well laid 
out keypad having isolated 
keys which lead to a smooth 
typing experience. The 
13.3 inch screen is highly 
reflective and 



there is a 1.3 MP web camera on 
top of the screen. The reflective 
trackpad has poor response and 
the palm rests tend to get hot 
after prolonged usage. 

A power notch is present on 
the right hand side, above which 
is the Wi-Fi button. The speaker 
is located just under the palm 
rest on the rear side. It supports 
HD content and has an HDMI 
out on the left hand edge. 

Performance wise, it is much 
better than most netbooks. It 
gave an overall 3D Mark 06 score 
of 2637 and overall PC Mark 05 
score of 3655. Even real life tests 
like WinRAR compression / 
decompression stands at 648 
KB/s. File transfers took 137 sec- 
onds (4 GB sequential) and 160 
seconds (4 GB assorted). 

At Rs.44,990 we feel that this 
product is a bit overpriced. 



Specifications 

Processor : AMD Turion 
Neo X2 Dual core; Graphics 
solution : ATI Radeon HD 
4330; Audio solution : ATI 
Radeon 4500; OS : Windows 
7 Home Premium; Weight : 
1.91 kg; Screen Resolution : 
1366 X 768; Bluetooth; WiFi 

Contact 

Nitish Singal 
Phone: 1800 425 4999 
Email: nitish.singaL@hp.com 
Web site: www.hp.com 
Price: Rs.44,990 




Build Quality 7 

Features 7 

Performance 6 

Value for money 6 



WD My Passport Studio 640 GB 

Stylish storage companion for PCs as well as Macs 



Specifications 

Dimensions (LxWxH) (mm): 

124 X 83 X 18.5; Weight : 

180 gm; Interface: USB 

2.0; FireWire 400 /800; 

Cache buffer : 8 MB; 

Contact 

Anil Kukreja 

Email: anil.kukreja@wdc.com 

Web site: www. wdc.com 

Price: Rs. 10,750 




Build Quality 6.5 

Features 7.5 

Performance 7 

Value for Money 4 



With USB 2.0 
as well as 
FireWire 
800 connec- 
tivity, this drive is targetted at 
Mac users. The e-label is a per- 
sistent display, similar to the 
one seen on the desktop WD 
hard drives. It displays the type 
of data you are storing on the 
drive. 

The electronic label can 
be changed with the help of 
Smart Ware and it also allows 
you to add security and backup 
to your hard drive. Below the 
label, one gets to see an indi- 
cator showing used and free 
space. The WD SmartWare 
also allows one to back up data 



based on categories like Docu- 
ments, Photos, Videos etc. 

We tested this drive on both 
the PC as well as an iMac. HD 
Tach gave an average read/ 
write score of 30.8 and 16.8 
Mbps respectively. Whereas 
SiSoft Sandra gave a drive 
index read and write of 30.4 
and 24.3 MBps respectively. On 
the PC it took 189 seconds to 
write a 4 GB assorted file with 
the USB interface whereas 133 
seconds using the FireWire 
Port. FireWire 800 showed 
an improvement in all scores, 
compared to the PC speeds. 

At a price of Rs. 10,750 we 
feel its overpriced. Considering 
many USB 3.0 drives are selling 




at that price point it's ridiculous 
to shell out that kind of money. 
It's way too overpriced. Con- 
sidering many USB 3.0 drives 
are selling at that price point 
it ridiculous to shell out that 
kind of money for a USB 2.0 
and FireWire port. 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.com 



77 



Bazaar 



iPad-look alike 

The Chinese brand ActFind, which is l<nown 
to seLL repLicas of the Apple iPhone and iPods 
has started selling iPad repLicas 



New iPad's app 

There's an app available for 1$ for Apple iPad which 
allows you to resize, split or rotate the iPad's keyboard 



Igloo 5710 Plus Silent (E) 



Weak build, great performer 



Specifications 

Dimensions (LxWxH) in 

mm : 75 X 99 X 139; Weight: 
425 gm; Fan dimen- 
sion (LxWxH) in mm : 

100x100x25; Noise 19 dBA 

Contact 

Glaciallech 

Phone: +886 2 2244 1227 

Ennail:pr@glacialtech.com 

Web site: 

www.GlacialTech.com 

Price: Rs. 1,400 



Build Quality 6 

Features 5 

Performance 7.5 

Value for money 6 




The Igloo 5710 Plus 
Silent is a CPU cooler 
platform which is is 
compatible with both 
Intel and AMD sockets. It sup- 
ports Intel LGA1366, LGA775 
and AMD AM2 and AM2+ 
sockets. The cooler design is 
quite ordinary with the flat alu- 
minium fin tower. Three copper 
heat pipes run through the fins 
on either side of the cooler, thus 
helping dissipate the heat from 
the processor faster. A 100 mm 
fan comes attached to the cooler 
and spins at 1300 rpm. 

We tested the cooler on an 
X58 motherboard running an 
Intel Core 17 965 processor. 
The cooler comes with all the 
necessary attachments for both 
Intel and AMD boards. We 
used the standard Intel clip on 



the cooler. We found 
that the fan section 
is present just above 
the clips and it takes 
quite some time to get 
a fix on the board. It 
gets very difficult to 
slip your finger into 
the miniscule gap 
between the fan sec- 
tion and the clip head. 

Performance wise -^ 

though this cooler 
delivers the goods. 
It keeps the temperature at a 
moderate 42 degrees Celcius 
in the Idle state and reaches a 
maximum of 75 degrees Cel- 
cius. The Intel stock cooler 
gave an idle temperature of 57 
degrees and the load tempera- 
ture shots to 100 degrees Cel- 
cius. The fan of the Igloo cooler 




Sparkle GeForce 210 



Ideal HTPC setup 

This card is based 
on a 40nm process 
and has support for 
Microsoft DirectX 
10.1. Being a 40nm die, this 
GPU is extremely low power 
consuming and will not heat 
up to high temperatures when 
in use. The GPU is surrounded 
by a heatsink with a small fan 
on top. It has 16 stream proc- 
essors running at a core clock 
frequency of 589 MHz and a 
processor clock frequency of 
1402MHz with a total GPU 
memory of 512MB. As is evi- 
dent, this graphics card is not 
meant for heavy gaming. 

GeForce 210 is a card meant 
for setting up an HTPC and can 
play very basic games at lower 




resolution. It gave an 
overall 3D Mark Van- 
tage score of 2280 and 
an overall 3D Mark06 score of 
2282, which does not boast 
of a very good graphics proc- 
essor. Also the real life gaming 
benchmarks gave poor scores, 
which means this card is defi- 



nitely not for those looking at 
a gaming card. HD experience 
on the card was quite good. 
Operational 
tempera- 
ture is under 
50 degrees. 
There was a 
mere 5 degree 
variation 
from the idle 
temperature of 37 
degrees Celcius. 

At Rs. 2,500 we feel this 
card is ideal if looked at as a 
purely HTPC enabling card, or 
for someone who isn't looking 
to do a lot of gaming. It's a half- 
height card too - this makes 
it suitable for use in smaller, 
cramped cabinets. 



makes very little noise which is 
an added advantage. 

At Rs. 1,400 this is a bit 
overpriced but nevertheless it's 
a good buy considering it can 
be used on a range of mother- 
boards and it dosent allow the 
temperatures to shoot beyond 
80 degrees Celcius. 



Specifications 

Display Output : HDMI / 
VGA / DVI; Chipset : GT210; 
Supports Direct Compute 
and OpenCL computing 

Contact 

Abacus Peripherals Pvt. Ltd. 
Phone: +91-22-4091 4603 
Email: enquiry@aba- 
cusperipherals.com 
Price: Rs. 2,500 




s 

Build Quality 6.5 

Features 5 

Performance 4.5 

Value for money 7 



78 



Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



Security hole in Facebook 

A new security hoLe was exposed by Facebook which 
aLLowed exploiters to force actions using users accounts 



Better Wi-Fi range 

An agreement has been reached between governing bodies to support Wi-Fi 
60GHz frequency band, which should give a much better range 



Bazaar 



WD VelociRaptor 600 GB 



A fast drive with SATA 3.0 compatibility 



F 



eaturing 
SATA 
3.0 and 
boosted 



capacities, we 
present the newest 
Velociraptor. The 
2.5-inch form factor 
remains unchanged, 
as does the integrated 
heatsink to keep things 
cool. 

Areal density of the 
drive has gone up too, 
and this time round, the 
new Velociraptor has 200 GB 
per platter, and the three plat- 
ters take the total up to 600 
GB. There is a 450 GB variant 
as well. For those who don't 
know - Velociraptors are 




Specifications 

Intel P55 express chipset; 

ATX form factor; six SATA 6 

GB/s ports; five PCI Express 

xl6 slots; one PCI slot; 

two USB 3.0 ports; seven 

USB 2.0 ports, one eSATA 

port, one Fire Wire port 

Contact 

ASUS Technology Pvt. Ltd. 

Phone: +91-22-6766 8800 

Email: media_india@asus.com 

Web site: 

www.asus.in 

Price: Rs. 29,000 




Features 8.5 

Build Quality 7 

Performance 7.5 

Value for money 6 



supposed to be enterprise- 
class drives, but enthusiasts 
love the fact that they get a 
10,000 rpm drive with high 
read/write rates as compared 
to 7,200 rpm drives. 

We tested this drive on an 



Intel X58 motherboard, 
with Corsair 2GB DDR3 
RAM. Also, we used the 
SATA 2.0 interface to 
compare the results with 
the 300GB Velociraptor 
to get an idea of the 
improvement. The syn- 
thetic benchmarks like 
HD Tach gave an average 
read of 132 MBps which 
was 25 MBps more than 
the 300 GB drive. SiSoft 
Sandra also gave drive 
index scores of around 

120 MBps, which was again 

20 MBps higher than the 300 

GB version. 

It comes with a hefty price 

tag of Rs. 17,599 which we feel 

is quite competitive. 



Specifications 

Buffer Size : 32 MB; Inter- 
face : SATA 2.0 / SATA 
3.0; Dimensions (LxWxH 
in mm) : 147 x 101.6 x 
26.1; Weight : 489 gm; 

Contact 

Amarjeet Singh 

Phone: +91-22-6709 0828 

Email: amarjeet. 

singh@wdc.com 

Web site: www.wdc.com 

Price: Rs. 17,599 




s 

Features 7.5 

Performance 8 

Build Quality 7.5 

Value for money 6 



Asus Maximus III Extreme 

Every gaming enthusiast's must have 



Avery feature rich, 
and well built 
board - just a 
glance will tell 
you that. And it's thoughtfully 
laid out too. A unique feature is 
integrated Bluetooth module 
that allows connectivity with 
a cellphone for remote over- 
clocking. 

Based on the Intel P55 
chipset, one special feature is 
the dual PCIe xl6 mode - a first 
for P55 boards, and made pos- 
sible by an additional nForce 
200 chipset. The board has 
native support for USB 3.0 
thanks to the NEC controller 
located behind the blue col- 
oured USB slots on the back 
I/O panel. The bundled acces- 
sories with the board are mind 
boggling including a small 



Bluetooth RC 
board, as many 
as eight SATA 
cables, 2-way 
SLIandCross- 
FireX con- 
nectors, a 3-way 
SLI connector among 
others. Solid state capaci- 
tors are used throughout the 
board. Also the SATA ports are 
pointing sideways rather than 
upwards, such that there is no 
conflict with the graphic cards. 
Another interesting addition is 
the large Start and Reset but- 
tons, so you no longer have to 
short pins or move jumpers 
which is quite thoughtful. 

We tested this board using 
an Intel Core i7 870 processor. 
Corsair 4 GB DDR3 RAM, a 
300 GB WD Velociraptor and a 




Sparkle 
GeForce 

GTX 285 graphics card. It gave 
an overall PC Mark Vantage 
score of 7888 and a 3D Mark 
overall score of 18,553 which is 
quite good for a gaming system. 
Also real life gaming bench- 
marks gave great EPS counts. 
Rs.29,000 is the amount 
you will have to shell out to own 
this monster. Though expen- 
sive, its features and perform- 
ance command that price. 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.com 



79 



Bazaar 



Google WebM 

GoogLe brings in WebM; it's a community effort to 
provide a common media format tliat wiLL worl< 
across aLL recent WebM complaint browsers 



Google TV 

GoogLe introduces GoogLe TV wLiicLi wiLL be based 
on tLie GoogLe Android OS; InteL and LogitecLi 
worl<ing aLong witLi GoogLe on it 



Specifications 

40nm fabrication; Sup- 
ports SLI; Memory Interface 
: 320-bit; Memory type : 
GDDR5; Memory clock 
: 3348 MHZ; Connects : 
2 X DVi and 1 x HDMI 



Contact 

Aditya Infotech Ltd. 

Phone: +91 11 4666 5666 

Email: sales@adi- 

tyagroup.com 

Website : www.zotac.com 

Price: Rs. 22,999 




Features 6.5 

Performance 7 

Build Quality 7 

Value for money 6.5 



Zotac GeForce GTX 470 

Great performer but tends to get very hot 



The Zotac GTX 470 
has 448 stream 
processors which is 
almost double the 
number found in a GTX 285. 
It has a core clock frequency 
of 607 MHz and a shader fre- 
quency of 1215 MHz. The card 
comes with a 1280 MB GDDR5 
memory. 

We used an Intel Core 17 
965 Extreme processor, Cor- 
sair 4GB DDR3 RAM, Cooler 
Master UCP 1100 W power 
supply and Windows Vista 
(32-bit) operating system. The 
scores we got were slightly 
less than the Nvidia reference 
GTX 470 we tested recently 3D 
Mark vantage gave an overall 
score of 16615 along with a GPU 
score of 13557. Stalker Clear 
Sky gave decent scores of 62 




fps for 1680x1050 whereas 
it dropped to 48 fps at 1920 x 
1200. The graphs comparing 
Zotax GTX 470 and Nvidia 
GTX 470 are show alongside. 
One thing we did not like 
about the card was its heating. 
With no visible heat pipes on 
the card, it solely depends on 
the fan and heatsink to dissi- 
pate the heat, which does not 
seem enough. It rose to a tem- 



Gigabyte GA P55A UD7 



Exceptional looks, good performance 



The first thing that 
grabs your attention 
is the waterblock 
atop the heatsink 
and the blue and white decal 
style design on the heatsink 
housing the P55 PCH segment. 
There is a nice big power 
button located just beside 
the 24-pin power connector 
and two tiny reset and 
CMOS clear buttons beside 
the battery. A thoughtful 
addition is the number 
codes which correspond 
to particular errors which 
makes troubleshooting 
easier. 

We tested this mother- 
board using an Intel Core 
17 870 processor alongwith 



Corsair 4 GB DDR3 RAM and 
a Sparkle GTX 285 graphics 
card. It gave a PC Mark Vantage 
overall score of 7,814 and a 3D 
Mark 06 overall score of 18,481 
which was marginally less than 
the Asus Maximus III Extreme 
board. Real life tests like video 




encoding took a mere 23 sec- 
onds for a 100 MB file, 4 GB file 
transfers took under 90 sec- 
onds. The gaming scores were 
also great with S.T.A.L.K.E.R 
Clear Sky giving 89 fps at 1280 
X 1024 and Crysis maxing out 
at 54 fps as the same resolution. 
The heatsink around the 
PCH tends to get very hot 
during load time. 

This board belongs to 
the enthusiast category 
which explains the hefty 
price tag of Rs. 19,000. 
We felt it was a bit over- 
priced, but one will have 
to shell out this price for 
the features provided as 
its performance is quite 
good. 



perature of 81 degrees Celcius 
during benchmarks which was 
quite high from its idle temper- 
ature of 40 degrees. 

At Rs.22,999 it's priced 
slightly lower than the Radeon 
HD 5870 and offers slightly 
slower performance. Although 
NVIDIA claims it will outpace 
its competitors when Tessella- 
tion becomes the norm. Its an 
ideal buy for hardcore gamers. 



Specifications 

ATX form factor; Intel 
Express P55 chipset; 4 
DIMM slots; Realtek ALC889 
Audio; Two SATA 6 Gbps 
ports; Two USB 3.0 ports 

Contact 

Gigabyte Technology 
Phone: +91-22-4063 3222 
Email: sales@gigabyte.in 
Web site: www.giga-byte.co.in 
Price: Rs. 19,000 




s 

Features 7.5 

Performance 7 

Build Quality 7 

Value for money 5.5 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.com 



Voice-controlled alarm 

Moshi introduces a voice-controLLed which can be 
silenced by saying "Shut Up" 



Glass-free 3D 

Nintendo announces 3DS which is an 
upgrade to the DS; it adds 3D support 



Bazaar 



Specifications 

Mid tower chassis, drive bays 

: 5 X 3.5-inch, 5 x 5.2S-inch, 7 
expansion slots, Fans: 6 fans 
Dimensions: 516 x 210 x 
450 mm, weight: 12.5 kg 

Contact 

Top Notch Infotronix 
India Pvt Ltd 
Phone: +91-44-4393 6000 
Email: enquiry@zebronics.info 
Web site: www.zebronics.net 
Price: Rs. 6,400 




Features 7 

Performance 6 

Build Quality 5.5 

Value for money 7.5 



Zebronics Invader 



Now invading the 



Zebronics makes a 
somewhat unex- 
pected entry into 
the mid-ranged 
- high- end cabinet market. 
The Invader is a mid-tower 
that's encased in a glossy 
plastic body with a meshed 
metal frame underlying it. 

With the chassis opened 
up, you find features that 
you'd normally find on 
cabinets priced at over 
Rs. 10,000 from the more 
enthusiast chassis brands. 
For example, two fans are 
mounted on a foldable 
panel in the region where 
the graphics cards would 
go. The drive bays are of 
a tool-less design. Plastic 
quality isn't great but the 



higher market 




cabinet is certainly easy 
to setup. The clips on the 
expansion slots are like those 
on the Cooler Master 690. 

The thickness of the metal 
used for the doors and panels 
is good. The same can't be 
said about all the other com- 
ponents. The buttons aren't 
great. There isn't enough 
depth to them and they're 
made of cheap plastic. Airflow 
is taken care by the six fans. 

The build quality isn't 
anywhere close to the Lian 
Li's or the Cooler Masters. 
Those looking at something 
in the Rs. 6,000 - Rs. 7,000 
price range, but with many 
features, this is one of the best 
options in the market at just 
Rs. 6,400. 



Cooler Master NotePal Ui 



Specifications 

Aluminium frame, rubber 

padding, support 7- inch to 

14-inch laptops, 80mm fan 

Dimensions: 269 x 210 x 

53 mm, weight: 355 g 

Contact 

Avinash Singh 

Phone:+91-93105 80680 

Email: avinash_s@ 

coolermastercom 

Web site: 

www.coolermaster.com 

Price: Rs. 1,400 

Features 5 

Performance 7 

Build Quality 6.5 

Value for money 5 




Cover those hotspots 



The Cooler Master Ul 
fan edition is a some- 
what smaller laptop 
cooler that can be 
used for netbooks as well. 

The cooler is made of an alu- 
minum perforated metal. There 
is a fan at the back of the cooler 
with a protected grill which 
ensures you don't touch the fan. 
There are rubber pads at the base 
of the cooler which stops the 
cooler from sliding around the 
table. One of the key features is 
the movable fan at the bottom of 
the pad. This is useful in cooling 
down hotspots at the bottom of 
the laptop more effectively. 

This cooler should ideally 
be placed on a table. The design 
doesn't lend itself to placing it 




on your lap with folded legs for 
example. There are quite a few 
things missing as well. There 
is no fan controller or USB hub 
built into the cooler The USB 
connector that is used to power 
the fan has an extender to con- 
nect an additional USB device. 
The cooler does a decent job at 
cooling the laptop. 




^ " There are a few 

shortcomings with the 
Cooler Master Ul. The price of 
the cooler is Rs. 1,400. It's a little 
expensive for what is just a pad 
with a fan connected to it. The 
inclination adjusting feature 
would have been a nice thing to 
have. People using their laptops 
only on desks should buy this. 



Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



81 



Bazaar 



Acer's Tablet PC 

Acer Launches the Aspire TimeLine 1825PT which is a 
mix of a Laptop, photo frame, and a notepad 



Android 2.2(Froyo) 

Android 2.2 (Froyo) officiaLLy announced with 
support for the FLash pLayer 10.1 



Specifications 

40mm neodymium drivers, 

frequency response - 

20Hz - 20kHz, 32 Ohm 

impedance, 3.3m cable 

Contact 

Razer 
Web site: 

www.razerzone.com 
Price: Rs. 8,999 




Features 5.5 

Performance 6 

Build Quality 5.5 

Value for money 3 



Razer Megalodon 

Mega-not-real-surround 



The design of the head- 
phones is exactly the 
same as the older 
Carcharias headset. 
This one comes with an addi- 
tional processing unit which 
connects to the PC using USB. 
The headset is pretty com- 
fortable to wear. Cables are well 
sheathed and thick. The sound 
processing unit has the controls 
for the volume, bass, enabling 
the surround sound effect and 
also the volume and sensitivity 
for the built-in microphone. 

Audio quality is decent. 
The surround sound fea- 
ture is mostly a gimmick 
without really giving you 
true surround-sound. With 
the standard stereo mode, the 
audio quality is good for music. 
It's pretty clear and produces 




very little distortion at higher 
volume. There is a decent 
amount of bass and treble 
which makes most genres of 
music enjoyable. Games and 
movies don't particularly 
sound better. The surround 
effect gives a very hollow, 
empty feel to the sound which 



makes it sound very artificial. 
The Megalodon is priced 
at Rs. 8,999. It's way more 
expensive than the Carcharias 
and in the same price range as 
some high-quality audiophile 
headphones. In comparison, 
the Megalodon is very hard to 
recommend to anyone. 



lianUPC-ATTF 

Towering, yet humble monster 



A beautiful beast and one 
that's built entirely of alu- 
minium! The insides and exter- 
nals have thumbscrews which 
makes installation and setting 
up simple. Noise and vibra- 
tions from the power supply are 
isolated with the dampening 
pads at the bottom of the case. 
The power supply can only be 
setup at the bottom of the case. 
The expansion slot panels are 
of the highest grade and the 
release mechanism is made of 
metal and is of top-notch build 
quality. 

The gaps for the top fans 
are cut out with great precision 
and the rear fan has a metal 
grill that ensures your fingers 



don't get close to it. The 
forward 3.5-inch drive 
bays have fans as well 
that help in maintaining 
low drive temperatures. 
Fan control is available 
and USB 3.0 is supported 
at the front panel using 
a USB cable and adapter 
for the motherboard con- 
nects. 

The price of the A77F 
is Rs. 26,500 which 
makes it really expen- 
sive. It's not particularly 
fancy looking or doesn't 
do anything very impres- 
sive. Sturdier, heavier duty 
cabinets are available for cheap. 
The Lian-Li name carries more 




weight for some; and for those 
users this would be one of the 
top models to buy no matter 
what the price. 



Specifications 

Full tower chassis, drive 
bays : 6 x 3.5-inch, 8 
expansion slots. Fans: 4 
X 120mm, 1 x 140mm 
Dimensions: 220 x 
572 X 590 mm 

Contact 

XTREMEGRAFIX 

Phone: +91-22-2770 1140 

Email: sudhirsmani@ 

gmail.com 

Web site: www.lian-li.com 

Price: Rs. 26,500 




Features 7 

Performance 7 

Build Quality 7 

Value for money 3 



82 



Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



New Macbook 

Apple has updated the Macbook with NVIDIA GeForce 320M 
graphics processor and an 10 hr battery bacl<up 



iPhone as credit card? 

VISA has announced a contactLess payment system for 
the iPhone through a payment system caLLed "In2pay" 
which aLLows you to use the phone as a credit card 



Bazaar 



TAG Z-626 

Good looks, poor performance 



The TAG-626 head- 
phones appear Hke 
a custom made set 
of headphones from 
BMW car company thanks to 
the tacky imitation of the BMW 
logo on the outer end of the ear 
cups. It is a supra-aural head- 
phone, which means that the 
headphone will rest on your ear 
rather than cover it. The blue/ 
white colour scheme continues 
on the head band as well which 
provides a good grip, such that 
it wont fall off if you are jogging 
with these headphones on. 

Earcup covering is made 
up of poor quality plastic. The 
foam padding is decent, but not 
very comfortable as it tends to 
press onto the earlobes. Theres 



Specifications 

Clock frequency : 3.2 

GHz; TDP : 125 W; 45 nm 

process technology; 938 

micro Pin Grid Array; 

Socket : AM3 and AM2+ 

Contact 

AMD 

Phone: 1800 425 6664 

Email: fusion.india@amd.com 

Web site: www.amd.com 

Price: Rs. 15,999 




Build Quality 7 

Features 6 

Performance 6.5 

Value for Money 7.5 



a small volume 
controller on the 
left hand side. A 
microphone is 
connected to the 
lefthand earcup 
with the help of a 
flexible wire. The 
wire provided is 
long enough. 

Performance 
wise TAG-626 is 
disappointing. Low frequency 
response is quite bad as there 
is hardly any bass effect. The 
sound output is quite flat. The 
headphone not very successful 
at distinguishing sounds with 
minute details like rain drops, 
coins clinging as well as low 
intensity sounds. The head- 




Specifications 

Sensitivity : -106 dB+/- 3 
dB; Impedance : 32 Ohms; 
3.5 mm audio jack; Cord 
Length : less than 2.5 mtrs 

Contact 

Technology and Gadgets 
Phone: 91 22 2382 3331/32 
or 91 22 2385 2040/50 
Email: sales@technolo- 
gyandgadgets.com 
Web site: wwwtechnolo- 
gyandgadgets.com 
Price: Rs. 499 



phone has a tendency to mix 
up these sounds. The mids and 
higher frequencies sound satis- 
factory. Sound separation was 
good though. 

It's priced at a very eco- 
nomical Rs. 499 so go for it, if 
you are not looking at sound 
quality. 




s 

Build Quality 4 

Features 5 

Performance 5 

Value for money 5 



AMD Phenom II X6 1090T 
Black Edition 



Hexa-core! 

Thuban marks AMDs 
entry to the six core 
market. It features 
Turbo Core tech- 
nology that, when activated, 
boosts the clock speed of three 
cores upto 3.6 GHz while run- 
ning a workload that would 
leave some cores idle. The 
1090T is based on a 45-nm 
silicon on insulator technology 
and has the same 6 MB shared 
L3 cache as the X4 965. 

We tested this board on an 
Asus Crosshair IV Formula 
motherboard which houses 
AMD's latest 890FX chipset 
having an AM3 socket. The 
X6 1090T is compatible with 
AM2+ and AM3 sockets. We 




""•ilHMi""" 



used a Sparkle GTX 285 card. 
Corsair 4 GB DDR3 RAM @ 1333 
MHz and an llOOW Cooler 
Master power supply. Perform- 
ance wise it's nowhere close 
to Intel's Gulftown hexa core 
processor. It gave a Cinebench 
Multithreaded score of 14,457 
which was much less than the 
21,000 plus score we got on 
an Intel Core i7 980X. Unlike 
the 980X, the 1090T does not 
support hyper threading. The 
overall 3D Mark Vantage score 
was 44,664. It took 31 seconds 
for a 100 MB video encoding. 
Gaming scores were quite good 



also with Crysis (Crytek Island, 
1024 X 768,low quality) giving 
116 frames per second. Com- 
pany of Heroes : Tales of Valor 
(1280x1024, low quality) giving 
85 fps. 

Priced at Rs. 15,999, this 
processor is ideal for enthu- 
siast users who want a great 
performance without having 
to pay through the nose. Com- 
pared to 17 980X, the 1090T 
gives two thirds of the perform- 
ance but at a price point so eco- 
nomical, it is a great buy for 
anyone looking at purchasing 
a 6-core processor. 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.com 



83 



Bazaar 



Chrome OS coming 

Acer to Launch the first Chrome OS products 
at Computex in Taiwan 



A costly affair 

The new 35mm fl.4 Lens from Leica costs around $5000, 
which is way more than some cars! 



Razer Destructor 

The fine art of aiding destruction 



Specifications 

Fractal texture; 350 mm 

(Length) X 280 (Width) 

X 2.3 mm (Height), non- 

shp rubber base 

Contact 

Razer 
Web site: 

www.razerzone.com 
Price: Rs. 2,599 



fl^ 




1^ 




Features 


8 


Performance 


8.5 


Build 


8.5 


Value 


6.5 





Razer is known for 
making gamers 
happy, and the 
Destructor seems 
Hke a worthy attempt. It's a 
deviation from the soft, cloth- 
based, foam-backed surfaces 
we're used to seeing. Instead 
the Destructor has a hard 
surface that has just enough 
texture to be termed as "uns- 
mooth". In fact the texture is 
similar to very fine sandpaper 
- although it's not abrasive to 
your fingertips. There is a thin 
layer of soft rubber on the rear 
side of the hard surface, and 
this provides excellent grip - 
the mat will not slide on the 
table, no matter how hard you 
try. The mat ships in a fancy, 
rigid zipper case that should 



Logitech G13 



The gamers handful! 



The name initially 
struck as being weird 
- all other Logitech G 
series keyboards are 
full size - the G13 is what they 
call a "game board". Imme- 
diately, the impeccable build 
strikes you - the bold moniker 
on the rear is metallic, and the 
plastic used is of the highest 
quality. The black/silver/grey 
build suits its audience well. 
The palm/wrist rest is pretty 
luxurious. Though it's not soft 
there is a soft rubber finish that 
is comfortable. This material 
doesn't get slick with sweat and 
provides sufficient grip as well 
as takes stress off the wrist. 25 
programmable macro keys have 
been provided and the rather 



ergonomic small joystick 
that is operated using 
your thumb also supports 
macro functionality. 

The wave -like design of the 
G13 and the key positioning is 
perfectly ergonomic and we 
could find no complaint. When 
using it with games, you / 
will need to use the inbuilt 
driver to profile each game 
you have installed, and map 
keys properly before the G13 
shows its mettle. Even then, the 
learning curve for migrating to 
this game board isn't easy, ini- 
tially we found our Warcraft 
3 skills lagging, as it takes 
several hours to get used to 
the non-conventional layout. 
Once you do get used to it, the 



easily protect it 
from most wear 
and tear. 

While testing 
we couldn't help 
but notice how 
wide this mat is - 
great for gaming, 
where mouse 
movements 
are erratic and 
sudden and the 
travel distance is 
a lot. Tracking is very, very 
accurate, and this is not some- 
thing limited to Razer mice. We 
found even Logitech's MX 518 
and G500 gaming mice tracked 
wonderfully on this surface, 
although coming from a cloth- 
weave-based gaming mat you'll 
need to adjust to the relatively 





G13 grows on you, and besides 
being a stylish addition to your 
desktop, is a great boon for 
gamers. The backlighting and 
LCD HUD adds a lot of style. It's 
not cheap though, at Rs. 4,245, 
it's certainly not for everyone. 



higher acceleration and slightly 
lower initial resistance that the 
surface provides. Accuracy 
is not sacrificed over speed 
making the Destructor a truly 
killer prospect for the compe- 
tition. The surface is easier to 
clean than cloth weaves - a 
nice plus. It's well suited to FPS 
games and RPGs alike. 



Specifications 

Macro keys: 25 keys; LCD dis- 
play; joystick with mouse but- 
tons, backlit keys and display. 

Contact 

Logitech 

Phone: +91-22 2657 1160 

Email: kavita_nath@ 

logitech.com 

Web site: www.logitech.com 

Price: Rs. 4,245 




s 

Build Quality 8 

Features 8 

Performance 8.5 

Value for money 5 



84 



Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



World's smallest camera 

Sony's NEX mirrorLess cameras, the NEX-3 and NEX-5 measure 
about 4.5 X 2.5 x 1.5 inches in size 



Garmin's Nuvi 295W 

Garmin's introduces Nuvi 295W; an iPod touch-Like 
GPS device with a buiLt-in camera 



Bazaar 



Galaxy GeForce GT240 

Runs cool, performs great 



The Galaxy GT240 is 
a mid-range graphic 
card. The heatsink 
above the GPU is sur- 
rounded by a fan which is held 
in place by a sliver grey metal 
structure, which is open on all 
sides. This packaging ensures 
that the card does not heat up. 
We found the load temperature 
to be as low as 42 degrees Celcius, 
a mere five degree rise from its 
idle state. It has a three out ports 
viz : DVI, VGA and HDMI. A 
common aspect with the GT220 
is support for DirectX 10.1 and 
shader model 4.1. 

Since it is a mid range gaming 
card, we expected it to perform 
well and it did not disappoint. 
The synthetic benchmark 3D 




Requirements 

Minimum Processor : 1 GHz; 
Operating system : Windows 
2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista, 
7 ; Support transcription 

Contact 

Manish Goenka 
Phone: +91-22-2635 1063 
Web site: www.icons.net.in 
Price: Rs. 11,995 




Features 8 

Performance 5.5 

Value for money 6 



Mark Vantage gave 
an overall score of 
4706. Gaming 
benchmarks like 
Crysis Warhead 
gave a frame rate 
of 40 (1024x768, 
medium) and 68 
(1280x1024, low); 
Stalker Clear Sky 
gave 45.7 fps (Day, 1280x1024, 
low) whereas Company of Heroes 
: Tales of Valor zoomed to 71.2 
fps (1024x768,Ultra) and 280.1 
fps (1280xl024,low). We also 
tried increasing the resolution 
to 1680x1050, Anti Aliasing at 
4x, Ultra / High settings and got 
scores like : Crysis Warhead (12 
fps), STALKER Clear Sky (12 fps), 
FarCry2 (30 fps) and Company of 




Heroes : Tales of Valor (32 fps). So 
clearly, this card is not meant to 
be used at the highest possible 
settings but it gives a great frame 
rate at low to medium settings. 

For its worth, this card is 
quite decently priced and it 
makes sense for people looking 
for hardware to play somewhat 
older games. High-definition dis- 
play users might have to look a 
little further up the chain. 



Specifications 

stream Processors : 96; 
Memory : 512 MB DDR5; 
Memory Interface : 128-bit; 
Shader Clock : 550 MHz; 
Memory Clock : 1700 MHz 

Contact 

Galaxy 

Phone: +91-22-2382 3331 
Web site: www.galaxy.com 
Price: Rs. 5,500 




Build Quality 6.5 

Features 6 

Performance 7 

Value for money 7 



Dragon NaturaUySpeaking 
Preferred 10 



Taking voice recognition to the next level 



Installation is quite simple 
and it has a variety of 
accents to choose from 
like Australian, Indian, 
American, British among 
others. You can also set the 
vocabulary level according to 
your need. Training the soft- 
ware takes around 10 minutes 
which involves reading text off 
the screen. This is the initial 
training which on completion 
generates some user files which 
will adapt to your voice. 

After the training when it 
comes to actually using the 
software, you will notice that 
it is not as smooth to use. There 
are many mistakes and you will 



have to speak very slowly ini- 
tially to get the software used 
to your voice. We encountered 
a lot of errors while the first 
couple of runs, but the software 
gets better with subsequent 
practice. Sometimes shouting 
out commands can actually 
type them out, so one has to be 
very patient. 

The other great aspect 
of the software is that you 
can use voice recognition to 
open folders, search items on 
Google.com or look up videos 
on YouTube. This is one aspect 
that sets it apart from other 
voice recognition software. 
It can be used with Microsoft 



Word and emails as well. You 
can use commands and menus 
from Ms Word for formatting 
text, selecting menus etc. Also 
it can transcribe text from an 
.mp3 or .wav file. 

Dragon Pad opens up a 
word file where in you can start 
dictating your text. There is an 
option to transcribe text from 
an audio file via the Sound 
menu. 

At Rs. 11,995 this software 
may seem a bit expensive but 
it's quite competitively priced. 
It's highly recomended for stu- 
dents, lawyers and doctors who 
deal with a lot of text material 
and typing out long documents. 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.com 



85 



Bazaar 



Square cell-phones! 

Handset manufacturers including Nokia and 
IMotoroLa pLan on building square ceLLpliones 



Solar powered headset 

I-Tecli Launciies soLar-cliarging BLuetootii 
iieadset in India 



Epson PictureMate PM310 

Portable printing connpanion . 



Epson PictureMate 
PM310 is a portable 
inkjet photo printer 
that prints 4x6 inch 
photographs. Due to its compact 
size and light weight the PM310 
can be easily carried around and 
you don't need a computer to get 
it working. 

Coming in a white sturdy 
plastic body, the printer has a 
7-inch TFT LCD screen on its 
front which can tilt outwards. 
On the right hand side we have 
a range of memory card slots like 
CF, SD, MSPro, xD and even a 
PictBridge slot for printing off 
cameras directly. A handle is 
present on the top allows one to 
carry the printer easily. When 
not used as a printer, PM310 can 



Specifications 

Sensor: Laser, 4,000 dpi; 

Bluetooth 2.0 support; 

power: 2 x AA batteries; 4 

programmable buttons 

Contact 

Razer 
Web site: 

www.razerzone.com 
Price: Rs. 4,999 

i 

Features 7 

Performance 7 

Build quality 6.5 

Value for money 7 




act as a digital photo 
frame. The slide- 
show menu will 
activate the slide - 
show of images 
with a range 
of transitions. 
Layout allows you 
to crop or trim image 
or add a border to 
the photograph. 

Printing 
speeds are slow, 
but colour quality is bril- 
liant. It took around 10 minutes 
to print 5 (two under 1 MB, two 
around 6 MB and one around 
10 MB) photographs. Similarly 
a single photo of 5 MB took 56 
sees whereas an 800KB picture 
took 40 seconds. 




At Rs. 14,999 this printer is 
expensive and advisable only for 
those who spend a lot of money 
on printing digital photographs. 
The Epson photo cartridge 
claims to print 150 photos of 4x6 
inches, but do not expect more 
than 100 great quality prints. 



Razer Orochi 

Susanoo's nemesis returns 



The Orochi has been 
designed to straddle 
an interesting divide 
- notebook users 
and gamers. After using it 
as both a gaming mouse and 
a notebook mouse we feel it's 
equally suited to both roles, 
although the fact that it doesn't 
go all the way in either direc- 
tion is ultimately its biggest 
hurdle. It's reasonably well 
built and suitably compact 
for notebook purposes. It does 
get heavy with the two AA bat- 
teries, but most will not mind, 
since this gives some much- 
needed stability. The body 
of the mouse slopes forward 
and from a raised rear. This is 
good because the raised por- 
tion fits your palm giving a 



slightly more substantial in- 
hand feeling. The mouse can 
be used wirelessly or with the 
bundled USB cable. 

Even though it's small, the 
mouse fits even medium-large 
hands well owing to its width 
and the raised rear. Being a 
Bluetooth mouse, you save a 
USB port. The wheel has a nice 
positive click, as do the but- 
tons. A pity Razer didn't add 
a tilt feature for the wheel that 
is invaluable for most users. 
Scrolling is very accurate, 
gamers will not complain. The 
feet provide the right balance 
between slip and traction on 
good surfaces. There are four 
additional buttons on the 
mouse - two on the left, two 
on the right. The ones on the 



Specifications 

Resolution : 5760 dpi; Ink 
Cartridge Model : T5852; 
Maximum Paper Size : 4x6 
inch (4R); Card slots : SD/ 
MS Pro/xD/CF/PictBridge 

Contact 

Epson 

Phone: +91-22-2382 3331 

Email: sales@technolo- 

gyandgadgets.com 

Web site: wwwtechnolo- 

gyandgadgets.com 

Price: Rs. 14,999 




s 

BuiLd Quality 7 

Features 6.5 

Performance 6.5 

Value for money 5 




left are useful; the ones on the 
right are not. 

Overall hardcore gamers 
will look at bigger mice for 
better control, while notebook 
users might want something 
with more features, making 
the Orochi an expensive option 
straddling two non-overlap- 
ping usage patterns. 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.com 



Fly Boom-MC105 

FLy Booom Launches MC105, a dual SIM 
phone, which comes with powerful 30 x 40 
mm speakers 



45 giga-pixel photo 

The world's Largest panoramic photo is a 45-giga 
pixel photograph which was made using 4250 
separate photos 



Bazaar 



Logitech Performance Mouse M950 

Productivity in all her glory 



The M950 is ergo- 
nomically designed 
and the contours 
that may appear 
severe at first, are, in fact 
extremely comfortable. The 
deep recess on the left, for 
example, perfectly fits ones 
thumb, while the slight indent 
on the right perfectly coincides 
with the third and last fingers. 
The mouse is also pretty high 
- great de-stressing for your 
wrist - since you can rest your 
palm on the mouse. 

The Nano receiver that 
communicates with your com- 
puter is tiny enough to plug it 
in and forget above removal. 
The nonintrusive battery 
indicator monitors the juice 
level of the single AA battery. 
Logitech's "Darkfield" sensor 



Specifications 

10 MP, 1/2.3-inch sensor 
(x2), 3x optical lens, shutter 
speed range: 3 - 1/I500s, 
burst speed: 2 fps bat- 
tery rating: 1500 mAh 

Contact 

Fujifilm India Pvt Ltd 

Phone: +91-124-4325500 

Email: contact@fuji- 

filmindia.com 

Web site: 

www.fujifilm.in 

Price: Rs. 39,999 



€ 

Features 7 

Performance 6 

Build Quality 5 

Value for IMoney 6 




works as advertised, 
and will even track on 
cloth and glass with 
impeccable accuracy. 
The wheel can scroll 
freely - useful for 
browsing long web 
pages, or can be set 
to ratchet i.e. scroll 
accurately. The tilt 
mechanism is uber- 
useful for spread- 
sheet users. The 
four programmable 
buttons around the 
thumb region are 
pretty usable. A MicroUSB 
connect makes it a wired 
mouse, and also charges the 
battery. 

It's got everything - heck 
it can be used for gaming, 
although hardcore gamers 




m m\ 

-^ ■^ \ 



will want wired mice and 
higher dpi sensors. Rs. 7,595 
is also mighty expensive, but 
this is no ordinary rodent - it's 
a rare pedigree, that will speed 
up productivity and every fea- 
ture is very usable. 



Specifications 

Sensor: Laser; Program- 
mable buttons: 8; tilt 
wheel; AA battery 

Contact 

Logitech 

Phone: +91-22-2382 3331 
Email: kavita_nath@logitech.com 
Web site: www.logitech.com 
Price: Rs. 7,595 




m 

Features 9 

Performance 8.5 

Build 7.5 

Value 5 



Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D Wi 



10 MP stereoscopic 3D camera 



The first of its kind - 
3D is achieved with 
two stereoscopic 
lenses. It lets users 
shoot both 2D and 3D images/ 
videos and view them on the 
2.8-inch LCD screen 
without the use of 3D ^ 
goggles. 

It has an appealing 
look with metallic 
black and silver colour 
schemes, bright-blue 
illuminated controls 
and a sliding door 
acting as lens cover. 

There is a manual 
mode also available for 
the enthusiast to tinker 
and adjust the 3D image set 



tings. We observed that 2D 
images were average in terms 
of overall quality while the 
3D images with 3D goggles 
on, really looked blurred and 
out of focus. It was evident 




that the camera lacked depth 
of field and focal length while 
shooting 3D images. 2D image 
quality is decent although 
noise at ISO 800 and above 
is a lot. 

It's priced at a rather high 
Rs. 39,999. If price were not to 
be a constraint, the 
camera appeals 
as an average 2D 
camera for casual 
use. To get the feel 
of 3D, one has to 
wear the 3D gog- 
gles which aren't 
supplied with the 
camera. Those are 
priced around Rs. 
300 to Rs. 600. 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.com 



87 



Cellphone test 



Mobile launch 

Wynn teLecom Ltd has Launched budget mobiLe handsets 
priced between Rs. 1,500 and Rs. 5,000 with a wide variety 
of choice in utility, multimedia and QWERTY phones 



3G auctions 

AirteL, Reliance Communications and AirceL 
have won bids in 13 circles in the recently 
conducted 3G spectrum auction. 




We test 28 of the smartest phones in the Indian market 
ranging from Rs. 8,000 to more than Rs. 40,000. These 
monsters offered everything from touchscreens to QWERTY 
keypads, and 12. IMP HD-ready cameras to voice-guided 
GPS navigation. 



We caught 'em 
all: 28 mon- 
ster phones 
rampaging 
in the Indian market. The 
captured specimens included 
offerings from the stables 
of Nokia, BlackBerry, HTC, 
Samsung, LG, Sony Ericsson, 
Apple, Motorola, and Garmin- 
ASUS; and ranged in price 
from Rs. 8,500 to Rs. 41,500. 
What these phones have in 
common is features that are 
geared towards the always- 
connected life, whether it is 
through Wi-Fi or 3G connec- 
tivity, location-based features 
or social networking. These 
features, along with the rapidly 
growing prevalence of touch- 
screen and camera phones, 
gives us an interesting per- 
spective on the current state 
of the Indian market, where 
we find intense competition 
between some of the most 
advanced cellular devices in 
the world. These phones also 
herald a change in the way we 
communicate with the world 
around us. 

Our experiences in testing 
these current-gen devices 
were varied and ranged from 
unbridled awe, to morose 
disappointment. Read on to 
find out more! 

Entry-level multime- 
dia phones 
(8,000 to 12,000) 

Two phones fell into this price 
category: HTC Smart and Sony 
Ericsson Naite. 

Sony Ericsson Naite: 
J105i 

The Sony Ericsson Naite (JlOSi) 
is labelled as the 'Green Heart', 
since it is designed to be very 
eco-friendly with recyclable 
plastics and reduced packaging 
to help cut down on wastage 
of raw-materials. In addition. 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.com 



Flash 10.1 on Android 

New Flash 10.1 on Android shows promising 
performance in video playback 



Power upgrades 

ALienware wiLL be upgrading their Mllx 
Laptops to Core i3/i5/i7 processors 



Cellphone test 




sidering it to be 
a low- end smart- 
phone available 
for a sub Rs. 



Sony Ericsson Naite J105i 

eco friendliness is further 
emphasised with the intro- 
duction of green applications 
like: Ecomate which is a carbon 
footprint calculator and Green 
calculator. 

The JlOSi is well designed 
and fits the bill as the sleekest 
model among the lot that we 
tested. With a hard plastic 
encasing and a glossy metallic 
finish on the keypad, it truly 
appeals to the user as a trendy 
candy-bar phone. The keypad 
keys are well laid out and the 
spacing between the keys is 
convenient. The keys are soft 
to the touch and produce con- 
sistent tactile feedback and 
input response. The battery 
cover is rather flimsy but clings 
on well to the frame of the bat- 
tery compartment. 

The JlOSi has a combined 
power and headphone port 
and a hot-swappable slot for 
microSD card inside the bat- 
tery compartment. 

The Verdict: 

It took the top honours along 
with Sony Ericsson Aino in 
the keypad design category. 
However, it performed the 
worst in the video capture test 
in its category 
and did modestly 
in the photo cap- 
ture test. It did a 
decent job in the 
call clarity and 
signal reception 
test. Overall, it 
yielded satisfac- 
tory results con- 



8,500 budget. 



HTC Smart 

A compact resistive touch- 
screen candy-bar phone, the 
HTC Smart at Rs. 9,500 is the 
company's most inexpensive 
touch device, meant to cater to 
an audience that is looking a 
touchscreen at an affordable 
price, with a touch interface. 
It features HTC's custom OS, 
Brew Mobile. 

The phone has a good camera 
with a flash, which churns out 
some good images, but sadly, 
it has a fixed focus, lacks dig- 
ital zoom, and offers almost 



MH 




HTC Smart 

no camera setting options. 
The HTC Smart also serves rea- 
sonably well as a multimedia 
device, with good audio and 
video format support (notably 



excluding DivX). Audio and 
video playback quality is good. 

The phone's interface is 
intuitive but the front panel 
layout will take some getting 
used to, with a 'back' button 
that also serves as the 'menu' 
button, a 'call disconnect' 
button that also locks the 
device, and a small button for 
in-screen menus. Though there 
is no multi-touch support, the 
Sense UI makes up for this fea- 
ture by offering smart zooming 
in the browser, which simply 
requires a double tap on the 
screen. 

For social networking, HTC 
Smart has a native Facebook 
client, along with a unified 
inbox called Friend Stream. 
You can also personalise your 
menu with your favourite 
applications, and put photos 
for all your contacts, and set 
favourites. The phone also 
offers Push Email 
support, and thread- 
type messaging. 



Verdict 

If you are looking for 
a value-for-money 
yet feature-rich 
phone, HTC Smart 
is for you. However, 
if you intend to 
browse the Internet 
via Wi-Fi, look else- 
where. The phone 
does not have GPS 
support either, and 
its custom OS lacks 
a wide range of appH- 
cations that can be 



found on Windows Mobile or 
Android. 

Mid-range 
Smartphones 
(12,001 to 18,000) 

A range of medium-end smart- 
phones, these devices are the 
ultimate combination of fea- 
tures and affordability, and 
offer their users and impres- 
sive functionality at incred- 
ible prices. The seven devices 
in this category were made 
by various companies, and 
included two each from Nokia, 
Samsung and LG, and one from 
Sony Ericsson. 

Sony Ericsson Yari UlOOi 

It is built with hard plastic, 
reinforced with a solid steel 
metallic border around the 
screen, making for a comfort- 
able grip. It has a glossy black 
finish to the front 
panel control but- 
tons, with a hint of 
white coated navi- 
gation controls and 
'option selection' 
buttons, adding to 
the design aesthetics 
of the mobile. 

The volume con- 
trols are conven- 
iently placed on one 
side of the mobile 
while the power/ 
headphone port on 
the other. The UlOOi 
has a sliding keypad 
Sony Ericsson and an accelerom- 
Yari UlOOi eter sensor for auto- 




Brand 


Phone 


Email 


Website 


Garmin-Asus 


1-800-209 0365 




www.qarminasus.co.in/ 


Apple 


1-800-425 4646 


indiasaLes(a)mac.com 


www.appLe.com/in/iphone/ 


Sony Ericsson 


1-800-111 800 (MTNL/BSNL); 3901 
1111 (others) 


Consumers can mail the queries from 
the website 


www.sonyericsson.com 


HTC 


+91-11-4660 4660 


V vinodl<umar(a)htc.com 


www.htc.com/in 


LG 


+91-120-260 900/40 


krishnendubaneriee(a)Lqindia.com 


www.LqmobiLes.com 


Nokia 


+91 (City Code) - 3030 3838 




www.nol<ia.co.in/ 


Samsung 


+91-11-3030 8282 


sarfaraz.b(a)samsunq.cGm 


in.samsunqmobiLe.com 


IVIotoroLa 


1-800-111 211 


info. in(a)motorQLa. com 


www.motoroLa.com/in 


Blackberry 


1-800-425 3720 


iagan.q@redinqton.co.in 


in.bLackberry.com/support 



Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



Cellphone test 



Android performance boosts 

Android 2.2 cLaims to be 450 per cent 
improvement over tine older 2.1 



W7 Mobile RCl 

Screensliots of tlie nearly finalised 
version appear online 



rotation of screen. However, we 
found that these accelerometer 
sensors aren't very accurate 
and sometimes rotate the dis- 
play without user input. It has 
two dedicated gaming keys 
above the screen. The keypad 
keys require the user to press 
along the dotted markings on 
the keypad. Any slight devia- 
tion from the dotted markings 
while pressing the keys will 
not register the input pro- 
vided by the user. The keypad 
layout lacks beveling as well 
as optimal spacing, hindering 
the finger movements while 
typing. But, this model lost 
out by a huge margin in ergo- 
nomics. 

The Verdict: 

The Yari lives upto its tag of 
multimedia and gaming phone. 
It also impressed us with the 
abundant manual camera set- 
tings it offers to tinker with. 
However, its performance in 
the photo/video capture test 
was too ordinary. It performed 
moderately in the call clarity 
and signal reception test. 
Overall, it failed to impress in 
any of the key tests. 

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic 

It has a well sculpted body 
frame, encased in hard plastic 
with a hint of glossy brown 
finish. The body contours are 
well rounded, although a little 
on the thicker side, the phone 
grips well owing to its matte- 
finished back. 

The volume/zoom controls, 
keylock and camera buttons are 
conveniently placed on one side 
and the access to the SIM card 
slot is strangely and inconven- 
iently concealed below the bat- 
tery compartment. The Nokia 
5800 XpressMusic lost out on 
user-friendliness and also on 
the ergonomics as a whole, due 
to lack of hardware keypad as 




Nokia 5800 XpressMusic 

was the case with Sony Erics- 
son's Vivaz. The touchscreen 
is decent, considering the fact 
that it is resistive. Navigating 
around the phone is not a 
problem due to the large finger 
friendly interface of the phone 
but for finer usage, like hand- 
writing or click small links, the 
stylus is provided to do the job. 

The Verdict: 

Nokia XpressMusic 5800 is 
and excellent music phone and 
more, due to its Symbian roots 
and wide application base. It 
truly stole the limelight with 
its sublime performance in the 
loudspeaker audio clarity and 
bundled earphones quality test 
scoring 9 on 10 in each category. 
It delivered excellent phone ear- 
piece volume and handsfree 
clarity in the signal reception 
and call clarity test. It clearly 
outperformed its nearest rivals: 
Sony Ericsson Yari, LG GW550, 
Samsung Monte S5620, Sam- 
sung Corby Pro B5310 and 
LG GT505 running close on 
the heels of Nokia 6700 in the 
overall rating for the category. 
So, considering the price to fea- 
tures and price to performance 
ratio, it is a good multimedia 



phone for an estimated price 
tag ofaboutRs. 15,600. 

Nokia 6700 Classic 

The Nokia 6700 Classic is 
targeted as a basic mid-level 
mobile phone with multi- 
media features. It has a solid 
all metal steel body with a thin 
black hard plastic lining run- 
ning across the contours of the 
body frame and highlighting 
the frame of the camera lens 
for a stylish look. 

The volume control and 
camera buttons are 
blended into the 
plastic lining. The 
microUSB port and 
the charging point 
are placed at the 
bottom of the phone, 
like most 'Classic' 
series phones. The 
front panel button 
layout, including a 
metallic D-Pad, left 
and right 'Selection' 
buttons and 'Call 
control' buttons, has 
a glossy black finish. 
The battery cover 
has a conventional 
slide and lock mecha- 
nism and is built out of solid 
shiny steel which completes the 
flashy look of the phone. The 
keypad buttons are hard to 
press owing to the lack of bevel- 
ling and key markers but have 
a consistent tactile feedback. 
However, the user interface is 
well organized and 
exudes a very user- 
friendly experience. 

The Verdict 

The Nokia 6700 is 
good looking, well 
laid out, no-nonsense 
phone, but it's too 
shiny for our liking. 
It scored well in the 
build quality, ergo- 
nomics and keypad 



Nokia 



design test with a solid metallic 
build and intuitive user inter- 
face. It had a modest outing in 
the Bluetooth test. However, it 
did extremely well in the hands- 
free clarity and speaker volume 
(on call) test sharing top hon- 
ours with its cousin the Nokia 
5800 and Samsung Corby Pro, 
racking up a score of 9 on 10 in 
both the tests. A good buy -if 
you're looking for a sleek num- 
berpad phone. 

Samsung B5310 
CorbyPro 

The front panel has 
a glossy black finish 
incorporating the 
'select', 'call answer' 
and 'call disconnect' 
buttons. The con- 
tours of the body 
are well rounded to 
enable a comfortable 
grip while holding 
the mobile in your 
palm. The battery 
cover is coated in 
snow-white and 
contrasts well with 
the black coating on 
6700 Classic the front and sides. 
The QWERTY 
keypad layout is neat with 
bevelled key markings. The 
number keys, navigation keys 
and special keys are marked 
in choco-brown colour for 
ease of identification and also 
to enhance the appealing aes- 
thetics of the keypad. 





Samsung B5310 CorbyPro 



90 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.conn 



Pacman for women 

The creator of Pacman, Toru Iwatani, said the game 
was deveLoped to attract women to arcades 



HP-Palm tablet 

HP to soon Launch tablet powered by 
Palm's WebOS 



Cellphone test 



In addition the TouchWiz 
interface incorporates the 
widget feature, with built-in 
mini appHcations, that can be 
activated with a swipe or ges- 
ture of a finger. It also allows 
users to drag widgets from 
the left panel of the screen 
and drop them anywhere on 
the home screen. 

The touchscreen interface 
provides vibrational feedback 
when an icon is selected or 
when a message or number 
is typed on the screen using 
the touchscreen keypad. This 
phone is crash-happy, 
freezing intermittently TPEST BUT 



umes and also produced poor 
voice clarity. Although, it took 
a downward slide in the cap- 
tured photo and video quality 
test with poor performance. It 
offers a good feature set at a 
decent price. 



and randomly, some- 
times all on its own. The 
hardware QWERTY 
keypad is well laid- 
out. The onscreen key- 
board has convenient 
spacing and offers a 
fair bit of accuracy. 
We found it quite ideal 
for typing lengthy 
messages and dialing 
phone numbers with 
ease. Another impres- 
sive aspect involves 
an auto-fill feature 
that stores previ- 
ously dialed numbers 
in phone's memory, 
even if the user for- 
gets to add them into 
his contacts list. 



The Verdict: 

Samsung Corby could have 
come across as a decent social 
networking phone because of 
the hardware keyboard, had it 
been more stable. It fared well 
in the build quality and ergo- 
nomics test with well designed 
body contours, user friendly 
menu interface and consistent 
touch response. It had a good 
outing in the call clarity test, 
except for the loudspeaker 
test where it delivered rough 
voice overtones at higher vol- 



Samsung S5620 Monte 

The Samsung S5620 Monte is 
basically targeted at the budget 
conscious, social networking 
segment. It has a glossy black 
finish on the front panel with 
the 'select', 'call answer' and 'call 
disconnect' buttons placed at the 
bottom. Its aero- 
dynamic design 
and well rounded 
golden- orange 
side panels 
add to the 
stylish design 
and glamour 
quotient of the 
mobile. The 
volume controls 
are conven- 
iently placed 
on one side 
panel and the 
microSD slot, 
'camera' and 
'lock' button on 
the other. 

It has a 
touchscreen 
design similar 
to the B5310 CorbyPro. How- 
ever, it lacks the hardware 
keypad which is a major draw- 
back. The touchscreen employs 
a user friendly interface with 
well organized menu icons. 
However, the touchscreen is 
not responsive and often lags 
during phone navigation. It has 
a widget feature similar to the 
B5310 CorbyPro, with a sidebar 
containing useful widgets 
which can also be dragged and 
dropped onto the home screen. 

The Verdict: 

It is a fairly average performer 




Samsung S5620 Monte 



in the captured photo and 
video quality test. It does not 
impress in the loudspeaker test 
with a score of 8 on 10. It had 
consistent results throughout 
the signal reception and call 
clarity test. Hence, it fancies 
its chances as a good mid-end 
phone with a decent camera 
and good music player, at an 
affordable price. 

LG GT505 

The LG GT50S is a mid- 
level touchscreen social net- 
working phone. It has a hard 
plastic body with a 
grey brushed metallic 
finish on 'select' and 
'call control' buttons 
and back panel. The 
contours of the body 
are well rounded 
for a comfortable 
grip. It ships with a 
scratch-proof LCD 
screen sticker, 
bundled ear- 
phones/hands- 
free set and bat- 
tery charger. 
The battery 
cover is well 
built with a slide and 
click mechanism. The 
side panels feature the 
volume control buttons, USB/ 
power slot, lockbutton and the 
camera button on one side and 
microSD slot on the other. 

The front buttons and side 
panel buttons produce good 
tactile feedback. These but- 
tons are well placed for ease of 
access to the user. The touch- 
screen interface incorporates 
a home screen with widget 
like menu system including 
call access, personal profile, 
messaging and communica- 
tion as sub-categories. The 
touchscreen is quite sluggish 
and does not register the input 
on several occasions, especially 
while typing. 




LG GT505 



The Verdict: 

LG GT505 had a consistent 
outing in the signal reception 
and call clarity test. However, 
it lost out in the captured photo 
and captured video test with an 
ordinary score. It did a fair job 
in the bundled earphones test 
with a score of 8 on 10. It does 
not impress as a good multi- 
media phone due to a poorly 
built loudspeaker and lack of 
good bass in the audio output. 
Also, the lack of quality camera 
lens makes it a poor choice for 
video recording. Hence, at Rs. 
17,000, it leaves a 
lot to be desired as 
a mid-range phone. 

LG GW550 

A full QWERTY 
candy-bar phone 
priced at Rs. 17,500, 
the GW550 looks sim- 
ilar to the Nokia E72, 
'j with near identical 
m keypad layouts. It is 
meant to be a business/ 
messaging phone, and 
is a 3G enabled device, 
loaded with Windows 
Mobile 6.5 Standard. 
The phone does not have 
a 3.5mm audio jack, and you 
will have to use the propri- 
etary USB headset, though it 



iMTrrpritivi 



LG GW550 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.conn 



91 



Cellphone test 



Seagate STB 

Seagate pLans to release the STB hard 
disk drive sometime tiiis year 



Isadora! 

Linux Mint 9, codenamed Isadora was 
Launciied tiiis montli 



has A2DP support for Blue- 
tooth headsets. It uses Internet 
Explorer 6 for browsing, that 
has copy-paste functionality 
and is nearly sufficient, but 
importantly lacks tab support. 

On the whole, with the 
smallish and low colour screen, 
the phone is not very beautiful 
to look at, a fact made worse by 
the boring Windows Mobile 
interface. The main menu is 
also badly designed, with only 
six pixelated icons fitting per 
screen, making you scroll inter- 
minably to locate what you are 
looking for at the bottom of the 
menu. While the 3.2MP camera 
is decent enough for point- and- 
shoot purposes, its limited 1.6x 
digital zoom and lack of flash is 
apparent. On the whole the full 
email and Push Email support is 
adequate, though Exchange sup- 
port would have been welcome. 

The phone on the whole has 
decent build quality, but the keys 
require some hard pressing, and 
the 62 millimetre breadth puts 
it at the limit of easy fitting on 
a palm. With regards to call 
clarity the LG GW550 doesn't 
score too well on the earpiece 
or loudspeaker's volume, but it 
has pretty exceptional hands- 
free volume and clarity. The 
loudspeaker and back panel is 
supposedly enhanced to deal 
with ambient noise, but it's not 
too effective. The dual speakers 
are pretty good for listening to 
music though. 

Verdict 

If you are looking for good 
quality full-QWERTY phone 
with 3G and Wi-Fi support, 
and good productivity tools 
like Office Mobile and Push 
Email, as well as instant mes- 
saging support, all at a price 
point lower than a Nokia E72 
or E71, then the LG GW550 is 
for you. However, the dated OS 
and interface, small screen, and 



flash-less camera are trade-offs 
you'll have to take into account. 
Whatever its drawbacks 
though, the device is certainly 
a decent buy. 

High-end smart- 
phones 

(18,001 to 25,000) 

While this price category 
is nearly as competitive as 
the last, we decided to pick 
some of the most exceptional 
phones in the segment, based 
on their popularity, stunning 
looks, productivity options, 
and all-rounder functionali- 
ties. Brands included here are 
Blackberry, Garmin Asus, LG, 
and Nokia. 

Garmin Asus Nuvifone 
MIO 

The Garmin-Asus Nuvifone 
MIO is priced at Rs. 19,990, and 
is a beautifully built navigator 
phone which runs on Windows 
Mobile 6.5.3 Professional. At 
first glance, what is immedi- 
ately apparent is the stunning 
clarity and brightness of the 
Nuvifone MlO's 3.5-inch OLED 
WVGA resistive touchscreen. 
The 3D Desktop Manager 
is quite useful, allowing you to 




Garmin Asus Nuvifone MIO 




close any programs that are 
running in the background by 
holding the Windows key. 

The 5MP camera takes some 
decent images, but the lack of 
flash is felt in low- light. Video 
recording is of average quality. 
The 4GB built-in memory is 
particularly useful here. The 
phone is quite fast, with a 
600MHz CPU along with ade- 
quate memory: 512MB ROM 
and RAM. The call clarity was 
superb, though the loudspeaker 
had some problems with low 
volume output. Music play- 
back was excellent, both on 
loudspeaker and good quality 
bundled earphones. As for video 
playback quality, the phone 
played mp4 files without a hitch, 
though its 65K colour limitation 
(because of Windows Mobile 
6.5.3, not the screen) 
did cause some colour 
banding. 

While the OLED 
touchscreen is beau- 
tiful, it is not very 
responsive, requiring 
some hard taps and 
repetition at times. 
It is manageable 
once you become 
used to the pressure 
required, though 
neither the stylus 
nor finger seem per- 
fectly supported. As 
for text-input, the 
on-screen keyboard 
is sensitive enough, 
but the keys are rather small 
and close together unless you 
use a stylus - even in landscape 
mode. The auto-rotate function 
of the device is bit buggy, with 
near random UI rotations or 
none at all. 

Verdict 

It performed well in all our 
tests, from call clarity to GPS 
accuracy, and its NAVTEQ 
Maps were very detailed. Loca- 



t^M 



^ ^ $ 







LG BL40 
ChocoLate 



tion based services were useful, 
and the interface is easily cus- 
tomisable. It calls All in all, 
if you are looking for a GPS- 
focussed feature-rich 3G smart- 
phone, the Nuvifone MIO will 
fit your bill. The bright screen 
and great GPS functions are the 
phone's advantages, while the 
buggy auto-rotate, the flash- 
less camera, and the erratic 
touchscreen are the phone's 
biggest failings, all of which are 
not expected at the Rs. 19,990 
price point. However, if you 
are simply looking for a large 
touchscreen navigator phone, 
go for the Nokia 5800 Xpress 
Music instead. 

LG BL40 Chocolate 

Definitely a one-of-a-kind 
phone, the LG BL40 Choco- 
late and its slim, extra 
long candy-bar body 
will attract attention. 
Running on LG's pro- 
prietary S-Class UI, 
the Chocolate has a 
4.01-inch "panoramic 
display" screen with a 
cinematic 21:9 aspect 
ratio. The phone has a 
super-bright screen, 
support for the DivX/ 
XviD video format, 
and features like 
Dolby mobile sound, 
and TV-out. The HD 
LCD screen's 345 x 
800 resolution is 
rated as Real WVGA 
by LG, and offers surprisingly 
good legibility in sunlight. 

The build quality of the 
BL40 Chocolate is certainly 
top-notch, though its solid 
glossy black plastic body and 
large screen does pick up 
some scratches and smudges. 
Buttons are well placed and 
responsive, and the phone, 
even with its long form factor, 
does fit in the average sized 
pocket. The microUSB has got 



92 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tliinkdigit.conn 



Weave is now Sync 

MoziLLa renames the Weave 
service to MoziLLa Sync 



Google Wave 

GoogLe Wave gets out of beta; 
is avaiLabLe for everyone to use 



Cellphone test 



a good latch- type cover as well, 
and the microSD card slot is 
near the battery but remains 
hot-swappable. 

As for the interface, the 
Chocolate's capacitive touch- 
screen is erratic, not responsive 
and requiring repeated presses 
at times. The UI auto-rotate is 
a nightmare of sensitivity, flip- 
ping over with the slightest of 
angle changes, and sometimes 
not flipping for more than five 
seconds. The screen will not 
flip in certain menus, including 
the home screens. The phone 
has four home screens: Widget, 
Browser, Contact, and Shortcut, 
each of which are customis- 
able, but only from the Screen 
Settings menu, and not on the 
home screen itself. 

On screen, the phone has 
two dedicated buttons, which 
are the task switcher/manager, 
and the cube/home view. This 
certainly takes some getting 
used to, and a physical back 



button would have certainly 
been useful. The Status bar on 
top slides down usefully when 
tapped, giving you Bluetooth 
and Wi-Fi connection options, 
and access to alarm clock, 
music player, events, and pro- 
files. The on-screen keyboard is 
alphanumeric in portrait mode, 
and QWERTY in landscape, 
both of which are well sized 
and easy to use. 

Email is very easy to set-up, 
and a Dual-Screen interface is 
available to allow simultaneous 
views of the subject as well as 
content. Maximum attachment 
size, at 2.2MB, is still paltry, and 
while ZIP and RAR files cannot 
be opened, they can be saved. 
Importantly, the Web browser 
has no Flash support, and does 
not support video streaming 
over Wi-Fi, only over EDGE 
and UMTS. The browser does 
have pinch-to-zoom and kinetic 
scrolling, and is quite easy to 
use, and there is a save for 



HOW WE TESTED, 



We divided the phones 
into five categories 
based on their price 
and functions: 

a. Low-end Smartphones 

b. Mid-range Smartphones 
0. High-end Smartphones d. 
MuLtimedia Phones e. LifestyLe 
Phones. 

We ran a gamut of tests 
and evaLuations on each phone, 
gauging a variety of aspects: buiLd, 
feeL, functions, ergonomics and 
operation. ALL phones, no matter 
if they were caLLed camera- 
phones or smartphones or muL- 
timedia phones, underwent the 



offline viewing option. 

Wrapping up, the 5MP 
camera is good, and offers some 
great quality images, but the 
interface takes some getting 
used to, with a jog dial for 
the settings. Video recording 
quality is not too great though. 



same tests and evaLuation. Each 
phone was graded on its overaLL 
buiLd quaLity, ergonomics, keypad 
design, and software intuitive- 
ness, before its features were 
tested. 

Looking into everything 
from BLuetooth transfer speeds 
to video pLayback quaLity, Loud- 
speaker cLarity to captured photo 
crispness, GPS to voice cLarity, 
bareLy a stone was Left unturned 
when evaLuating these phones. 
Accessories such as handsfree 
devices and docks were aLso 
taken into account, and were 
tested for their performance. 



Seven motion-based games are 
also pre-loaded, but nothing to 
write home about, except the 
Asphalt 4: Elite Racing game. 

Verdict 

A good-looking phone, the 
Chocolate will make you 




Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



93 



Cellphone test 



Opera comes to Maemo 

Developers were working on Opera Mini for tine 
Nokia IMaemo platform in tiieir free time 



Corsair sells SSDs 

Corsair to Launcli Force Line of SSDs; read 
speeds of 285MB/s and write speeds of 
275MB/S expected 



stand out in a crowd, and its 
widescreen and playback 
quality will give you a great 
video viewing experience. Call 
clarity is quite good, though the 
loudspeaker volume could be 
higher. Sound quality is sur- 
prisingly good, though the 
bass is lacking, which can be 
expected with just one small 
speaker located with the ear- 
piece. Also to be noted is the 
voice recording, which with two 
microphones delivers excellent 
audio clarity in recorded video 
as well. Head-to-head with the 
Omnia II, the biggest difference 
you'll notice will be the Choc- 
olate's better video playback 
quality, which doesn't show 
the dithering/banding of the 
Windows Mobile phone and its 
65K colour limitation. 

Multimedia phones 
(25,001 to 32,000) 

This category features some 
of the best known phones 
in the market, and consists 
of some flagship devices. 
Ranging from Nokia to Sam- 
sung and LG to Sony Ericsson, 
the competition is intense 
here. Most of the phones fea- 
ture large screens: many are 
touchscreens, and some, like 
the Sony Ericsson Aino and 
W995, are keypad based. 

Nokia NQZ Mini 

How does the N97 Mini 
differ from the N97? 
It's smaller (display, 
dimensions, battery) 
and lighter (weight. 



VfcEST 




internal memory), features a 
metallic battery cover, and does 
not feature a D-pad, lens cover, 
or FM transmitter. Despite all 
this, the N97 Mini remains 
virtually identical to its bigger 
brother in terms of interface 
and functions. Anybody who 
is used to a S60 touch-enabled 
device will be at home with this 
phone. 

The phone's interface is 
easy to use and the resistive 
touchscreen is responsive 
(supporting both stylus and 
gloves), featuring adjustable 
haptic feedback. The call/ter- 
minate keys are also touch- 
sensitive, and kinetic scrolling 
is available. The proximity 
sensor takes care of locking 
the screen and keys during a 
call, while the accelerometer 
also silences a call when the 
phone is flipped. The screen 
also has great contrast in sun- 
light. The sliding three-row 
QWERTY keyboard snaps 
open readily, and the quality 
of the buttons and feedback is 
great. It's easy to use, and num- 
bers can be easily accessed with 
the modifier key. An on-screen 
alphanumeric keyboard is also 
available in portrait mode. The 
handwriting recognition works 
very well, with even my not so 
good handwriting being trans- 
lated. It comes with a training 
option to teach the handset 
your unique handwriting. 
While it only has a 434MHz 
CPU and 128 MB of 
RAM, it manages not 
to be slow in routine 
tasks. Call clarity is 
good all around, 
though the loud- 
speaker and 
handset could 
do with some 
boosts in volume 
though. 



Nokia N97 Mini 



Verdict 

Feature rich, fast, and capable, 
the N97 Mini is the top per- 
former in the category. And 
being a top-end phone from 
Nokia, you cannot expect to 
find much wrong with the 
device. It is perfect for those 
who want to enjoy a large 
touchscreen screen along with 
a full QWERTY keyboard on 
the Symbian platform. The lack 
of DivX playback should be 
mentioned however, as well as 
the lack of free office document 
editing. The much cheaper 
Nokia 5800 Xpress Music is 
also an option, sporting a sim- 
ilar Series 60 interface, only 
without a QWERTY keyboard. 

LG GC900 Viewty Smart 

The Viewty Smart is definitely 
a cameraphone, and earns its 
'smart' moniker with intelli- 
gent camera options such as 
smart multiple face detection, 
sensor for scene analysis and 
image optimisation, and mul- 
tiple shot modes. 

Not much separates this 
phone from the LG BL40 Choco- 

LG GC900 Viewty Smart 



very solid build of the BL40 
Chocolate, mainly because of 
its flimsy back button, however 
useful it might be. The screen 
is not as bright as the Choco- 
late either, and has serious leg- 
ibility issues in sunlight. Also 
missing is the 3.5mm jack, and 
the standard microUSB port, 
replaced with a proprietary one. 
Ergonomically, the phone 
fits well onto the palm, and fits 
easily into the pocket, with the 
side buttons (cube view/task 
manager on the left, volume 
and camera on the right) 
within easy finger reach. The 
camera button requires to be 
held for about 5 seconds before 
switching you to camera mode, 
and this is quite an annoying 
delay. The capacitive touch- 
screen shares the same faults 
as the Chocolate, owing to the 
common S-Class UI, and is 
not as responsive as desired 




late, featuring the same S- Class 
UI (the first Viewty with it) 
that's arranged in pretty much 
the same way, and the same 
power/lock button. The main 
differences are in the physical 
back button, the 8MP camera, 
the 720p video recording, and 
unfortunately, in the build 
quality, where the Viewty racks 
up as clunky compared to the 



in most scenarios, except at 
scrolling and in Cube view. The 
accelerometer is not as scarily 
sensitive, though it does take its 
own sweet time to auto-rotate. 
The S-Class interface here 
offers four homescreens and a 
cube view, just like the Choco- 
late, but here, the four are: 
Widget, Multimedia, Contacts, 
and Shortcuts; with Multi- 



94 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tliinkdigit.conn 



Skype 5 

The popular voice-video conferencing tooL 
Sl<ype lias gone into version 5 beta 1 



Peppermint Linux 

Web-apps based Linux distribution 
Peppermint Linux released 



Cellphone test 



media replacing the Browser 
screen. The display looks beau- 
tiful in landscape mode, will 
all the icons sprawled to com- 
pletely fill the screen. 

The camera is the main fea- 
ture of the phone, and one has 
to say that the image quality is 
excellent, racking up next to the 
Xperia XIO and the Vivaz, with 
their similar 8.1-megapixel 
cameras, though the flash is 
not too bright. However, all that 
'intelligence' described earlier 
doesn't do too much visibly, nor 
the multiple face detection. The 
video recording quality is also 
excellent, with near no blurring 
even with quick pans. 

The audio playback quality 
is good as well, offering Dolby 
Mobile sound when earphones 
are connected. The loud- 
speaker, located in the ear- 
piece again like the Chocolate, 
is powerful, but lacking bass. 

Verdict: 

The phone didn't perform very 
well under call clarity tests, 
with the earpiece working 
well enough, but the bundled 
earphones were not too good, 
and the loudspeaker, while 
loud, was not very clear. This 
problem is fixable though, as 
even though the headphone 
jack is proprietary, any 3.5mm 
headphone can be connected 
to the handsfree. Overall, the 
Vivaz's superior build quality, 
battery life, and 3G speeds put 
it ahead of the Viewty Smart. 

Samsung B7610 
OmniaPro and 18000 
Omnia II 

There is not much difference 
between the Samsung B7610 
OmniaPro and 18000 Omnia 
II. They are basically the same 
phone, with almost all the same 
specifications, from the Win- 
dows Mobile 6.1 Professional, 
the Samsung S3C6410 800MHz 



processor, to 256MB RAM, and 
a 5-megapixel camera. 

The differences, or the 
places where the OmniaPro 
lags behind the Omnia II, are: 
HSDPA rating of 7.2Mbps 
versus 3.6Mbps, HSUPA 
network, 3.7-inch AMOLED 
screen versus 3.5-inch, prox- 
imity sensor, WMV support, 
WMDRM and OMA DRM 
support, no Flash support, and 
greater weight. 

Where the Omnia II lags 
behind the OmniaPro is a full 
QWERTY keyboard, 3GP sup- 
port, WAV support, shorter 




Samsung 18000 Omnia 

standby battery life, and no 
choice of Work and Life user 
modes. 

The first thing you notice 
about the phones are there 
stunning AMOLED display, 
and their brightness, vivid- 
ness and clarity will take your 
breath away, even with the 65K 
effective colour limitation due 
to the dated operating system. 
With their 800 MHz processor 
and dedicated graphics accel- 
erator, the phones do not lack 
in performance, with breezy 
multitasking. The phone can 
be upgraded to run on Win- 




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Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



95 



Cellphone test 



Blu-ray sales double 

BLu-ray sales have been seen an 
increase in doubling ever year 



GPU-powered Office 2010 

Microsoft's Office 2010 suite to be acceLerated by AMD's 
GPUs including tiiose integrated on motiierboards 



dows Mobile 6.5, but it is not 
shipping in that condition yet. 

The interface is easy to use, 
and a task switcher/manager 
can be called up by holding 
the menu button. The Sam- 
sung Touch Wiz UI is up to the 
task, and lets you interact with 
the devices well, with good 
haptic feedback, onscreen 
keyboards (alphanumeric and 
QWERTY), kinetic scrolling, 
and responsiveness for a resis- 
tive screen. The dedicated lock 
button is useful and well- 
placed, but, you are required 
to hold to unlock an onscreen 
icon for too long, resulting in 
some wasted time. 

The 5MP cameras are 
okay, producing images that 
have relatively little noise 
and good crispness. The flash 



Nuvifone MIO earphones made 
for good audio quality, while 
the loudspeaker was excellent, 
offering a rich sound both in 
voice calls and audio/video 
playback. Video playback was 
unfortunately marginally 
hampered by the 65K colour 
limitation of the OS, with gra- 
dients dithering a bit. It played 
everything without any stut- 
tering however. Battery life is 
also excellent for a phone with 
such a large and bright screen, 
with it lasting more than two 
days on single charge, with 
frequent calls, video playback, 
and Bluetooth/Wi-Fi usage. 

The B7610 OmniaPro has 
the 'pro' moniker because of its 
horizontal-shding QWERTY 
keyboard form factor. Unfor- 
tunately, this makes the 




Samsung B7610 OmniaPro 



works well, and settings are 
plentiful enough to satisfy the 
amateur photographer. The 
phone's 480p (640x480) video 
recording was good in our tests, 
but did have some pixellation 
happening. Call clarity was 
good across the board, but 
we unfortunately did not get 
to test the bundled earphones 
because our test unit arrived 
without them. Using the good 



OmniaPro quite bulky, with 
a 16.2mm width. However, the 
phone does fit well enough in 
your hand, though your pocket 
will be a bit strained. Its build 
quality is excellent, with its 
buttons offering great tactile 
response, the QWERTY key- 
board included. The horizontal 
sliding keyboard has no lock, 
which makes for some slight 
movement in your hands at all 



times, whether closed or open. 
The four-row keyboard is easy 
to use though, and the buttons 
are well-placed. 

The biggest disadvantages 
we've seen are their unexpect- 
edly poor sunlight legibility, 
and the OmniaPros's lack of 
Flash support. 

Samsung B7610 
OmniaPro Verdict: 

There is not much wrong 
with the device, and with its 
good battery life and media 
support, beautiful AMOLED 
screen, speedy interface 
and decent camera, you'd be 
hard-pressed to find a better 
horizontal sHding QWERTY 
phone that's priced much 
lower. Compared to the N97 
Mini, the phone only lags 
behind in a few places: video 
quality, tilted screen (when 
keyboard is slid-out), free 
turn-by- turn voice navigation, 
and 16 million colours. 

Samsung 18000 Omnia 
II Verdict: 

The 18000 Omnia II manages 
to offer the same great function- 
alities of the OmniaPro, even 
without a QWERTY keyboard. 
Heads up against the Xperia 
XIO though, the phone lags 
behind. With a more respon- 
sive capacitive touchscreen and 
a fresher interface, the Xperia 
XIO is limited to 65K colours 
because of its Android 1.6 OS, 



just like the Omnia II's Win- 
dows Mobile 6.1 OS. Both the 
phones' video playback and 
image display quality are ham- 
pered, with some visible dith- 
ering/banding. Android Mar- 
ketplace also comes straight 
out of the box with the Xperia 
XIO, but you'll have to make do 
with Java apps on the Omnia 
II unless you upgrade to Win- 
dows Mobile 6.5. One also has 
to remember the Xperia XlO's 
better 8.1MP camera. 

Sony Ericsson W995 

It has a typical 'Walkman 
series' design: well laid out 
body contours with metallic 
Walkman control buttons on 
either side of the mobile and 
basic function buttons on the 
front panel. The phone has 
an elegant way to open the 
battery cover. Pull the media- 
stand (useful feature!), push up 
the lock button and the cover 
comes off - nice and easy. 

The Walkman control but- 
tons and the basic function 
buttons have a soft spring-like 
mechanism and produce true 
tactile feedback and input 
response when pressed. All 
the control buttons and keypad 
keys are conveniently spaced 
for comfortable finger move- 
ments and inputs. The keypad 
design is well laid-out with 
adequate spacing, and scores 
decent marks in the keypad 
test. The other notable thing is 




Sony Ericsson W995 



96 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tliinkdigit.conn 



Firefox 4 already? 

Firefox 4 to come with buiLt-in 
muLti-touch functionaLity 



Archos 8 

The Archos 8 Android OS based 
tablet wiLL soon foLLow the Archos 7 



Cellphone test 



a speaker-dock that's bundled 
with this handset. It comes 
handy for hstening to music in 
your leisure time without the 
use of a headset. However, the 
dock lacks good bass and treble 
response, yielding rough voice 
overtones and harsh beats at 
higher volumes, but we are not 
complaining. Among all the 
phones we tested, W995 stood 
out for its good music abilities 
and looks, complemented by 
the dazziling red-lit Walkman 
controls, that come in handy. 

The Verdict: 

The W995 is a mean music 
machine, reaffirming the 
status of 'Walkman series' 
as the best when it comes to 
music. The W99S stands out 
in the speaker volume test by 
beating the other mobiles quite 
easily in this test. However, it 
had a modest outing in most of 



the tests including call clarity 
and signal reception test and 
the photo/video capture test. 
It stood out as the Best Music 
Phone to be tested with excel- 
lent mids as well lows through 
its comfortable earplugs. It 
did not show up any instance 
sound distortion or rough 
overtones, even at maximum 
volume, in the music playback 
test. Hence, it justifies the cause 
as a deserving winner of Best 
Music Phone award. Although, 
at Rs. 26,786, it is definitely on 
the expensive side. 

Sony Ericsson Vivaz 

The Sony Ericsson Vivaz is 
targeted towards multimedia 
fanatics and truly holds an 
edge with an 8. IMP camera 
lens and a wide 3.2-inch screen. 
It can record 720p with con- 
tinuous autofocus. 

The phone is sleek and easy 



on the eye and the unique 
rounded rectangular 
body fits the contour of 
the hand, and follows 
Sony Ericsson's Human 
Curvature design philos- 
ophy. The back panel has 
a plasticky feel but is not 
flimsy. The power button 
on the top (that doubles 
as screen-lock toggle), the 
three function buttons (select, 
call answer and call cancel) 
placed below the screen, and 
the volume rocker on the side, 
are all thin but easy on the fin- 
gers and tactile. We also like the 
two dedicated buttons on the 
side, for Video and Photo mode. 
The screen is a sharp 640 x 360 
with high dpi of 229 which also 
plays 720p HD video. 

The screen, although crisp 
and sharp, should have been 
spared the horrible touch it's 
been provided with. Surely, a 



VBESTBUlir 



Sony Ericsson Vivaz 




better interface or even better, 
a capacitive touch screen 
wouldn't have hurt. A stylus 
is bundled though, a saving 
grace for the screen. 

The Vivaz runs a Sym- 
bian™ S60 5th edition. Navi- 
gating across the phone can 
be confusing at first, due to 
the presence of widgets on 
the homescreen. But the ease 
of operation of the Symbian 
soon takes over. The bundled 
apps are nice as with most SE 
phones. These include Twitter 



3M India 

MCX 

SEBI 

HSBC 

NSE 

Barclays 

Stumpp Scheule 

GE Money 

Religare Realty 

ITC Maurya 

Hyatt Regency 

Taj Lands End 

ICICI Knowlegde Park 

Hindustan Aeronautics 

CP Office Mumbai 

Nestle India 

Barco 

Jubiliant Organosys 

Hero Honda Motors 

Accenture 

Diamond Board 



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97 



Cellphone test 



Intel goes 25nm 

Intel moves to 25nm on their 
flash memory 



ASUS 3D displays 

ASUS Launches two new 3D displays VG236H 
and PG276; 3D glasses wiLL bundled 



(with a homescreen widget) 
YouTube, Rally Master (simple 
accelerometer-based car-racing 
game), SSX 3 (accelerometer- 
based snowboarding game), 
WorldMate (travel planner), 
GTalk, Google Maps (without 
multitouch, of course), TrackID 
(song identifier) and Facebook. 
But we detest the point and 
click interface of the OS, where 
you accomplish tasks through 
two presses, one to highlight 
and other to select. 

The saving grace is prob- 
ably that compatible Symbian 
software can be downloaded 
from the net. The browsing 
experience is poor owing to 
the resistive screen and occa- 
sional crashing of the browser 
due to low memory, restricting 
operation to lowly WAP sites. 
Equally pathetic are the bun- 
dled headphones, which had 
miserable audio output, and 
didn't even come with foam! 

The Verdict: 

We agree that the Vivaz truly 
holds its own in the photo/ 
video capture segment ren- 
dering high-definition video 
at consistent frame rates with 
an enviable colour clarity and 
crispness. It is to be noted that 
it has been advertised for its 
capabilities as a HD movie 
playback and recording phone, 
and it unnervingly lives up to 
these expectations. We fail 
to understand how a device 
that boasts of hardware specs 
similar to the Apple iPhone 
3GS or the same processor as 
the Motorola Milestone 
have such bad perform- 
ance and low features. j i 
We wouldn't have mind 1 1 
it at all if the gimmick of 
touchscreen was avoided 
and the phone released 
with a keypad. We would 
have appreciated it just as 
a thin snapper that makes 



calls. The Xperia XIO, another 
full touchscreen and 8MP 
camera bearing mobile from 
Sony Ericsson, is also a com- 
parable product, marginally 
more expensive, but providing 
a snazzier Timescape-inspired 
Android 1.6 OS. 

Sony Ericsson Aino 

The Sony Ericsson Aino intro- 
duces Remote Play that ena- 
bles the phone to playback 
the Media content on your 
PlayStation 3 console. The 
sleek and stylish Aino comes 
with a bluemoon silver metal 
lining decorating the smooth 
contours of the body, with an 
elegant sculpted matte finish 
on the front and back panel. 
It has a hard plastic battery 
cover that clings on neatly to 
the body frame. 

The volume/camera zoom 
control and camera buttons 
ablend into the metallic lining 
across the contours of the 
body frame. In addition, it has 
a sliding keypad with pro- 
truding, well spaced keys. A 
special notable accessory is the 
docking station that allows the 
user to slate the mobile hori- 
zontally, suitable for movies. 

The Verdict: 

The Sony Ericsson Aino stands 
out for Camera and Multi- 
media abilities, but its USP 
is Remote Play and you could 
give it good thought if you 
own a PS3. It holds the pole 
position in the phone earpiece 




volume and bundled ear- 
phones test, scoring 10 on 10 in 
each category with exemplary 
performance in terms of pro- 
ducing consistent voice clarity 
and balanced sound output 
without rough overtones, even 
at maximum volume. 

It had a consistent outing 
in all the other tests. It also ran 
very close on the heels of Vivaz 
in the video playback quality 
test while not doing so well in 
the captured video quality test. 
With the final results tipping 
the scales in favor of Aino, it 
remains one of the top per- 
former considering the overall 
score across all the tests. It has 
an estimated price tag of Rs. 
28,950 and hence about Rs. 
3,300 dearer than the Vivaz 
model. Aino is the among the 
best phones tested, finishing 
with an overall score of 8.5. 

Conclusion 

The innumerable other func- 
tions we have come to expect 
of high-end phones nowadays 
should not be counted out, and 
this is where the device which 
offers the most under will be 
the winner: the Nokia N97 
Mini, a 3.2-inch, horizontal 
shding QWERTY phone with 
blazing connectivity speeds 
and superb battery life and 
media playback quality, our 
Best Buy. 

Lifestyle 
phones 
(32,001 and 
above) 

The final word in 
the mobile space, 
these devices 
are much, much 
more than just 
phones. Offering 
unbelievable 



multi-functionality, these 
phones are near PC-replace- 
ment devices, with a very wide 
range of applications to choose 
from, and running on advanced 
operating systems and some 
seriously capable hardware. 
Bringing augmented reality a 
step closer to the real world, 
the Sony Ericsson Xperia 
XIO, Apple iPhone 3GS, and 
Motorola Milestone are the 
flagship devices of their com- 
panies, and it is hard to find 
fault in any of them. 

Sony Ericsson Xperia 
XIO 

A phone that was painstak- 
ingly developed at Sony Eric- 
sson, the Xperia XIO at Rs. 
35,795 is the current flagship 
device from the company, fea- 
turing a heavily customised 
Android OS, and lots of top- 
end features. 

The phone is certainly 
fun to use, with a responsive 
capacitive touchscreen, a rather 
uniquely customized OS, sig- 
nature Timescape and Medias- 
cape appHcations, and access to 
the Android marketplace. Call 
clarity is good, with an excep- 
tional loudspeaker and ear- 
piece. The handsfree however 
provides pretty muted sound 
to the person you are talking to. 

The screen is exceptionally 
bright in sunlight, and has 
a scratch-resistant surface. 
The Xperia XIO has a not-so 
unique keypad layout, with a 
Menu key. Home, and a Back 
key. The notification area is 
also easy to use, sliding down 
to not interrupt your work. The 
phone also makes full use of its 
IGHz processor with its task 
switcher, which can be called 
up if you hold the Home key. 

However, with all its major 
advantages and speedy opera- 
tion, the phone has some 
serious flaws as well, such 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.com 



Powerful Mobile i5 

Intel to Launch fast mobile Core 15 
540M processors cLocked at 2.66GHz 



Chrome store 

GoogLe Launches a web store for free 
and paid Chrome OS apps 



Cellphone test 




as a 65K colour screen under 
Android 1.6, a single touch 
interface, a limited applica- 
tion storage space of 512MB, 
no Adobe Flash support in the 
browser, no DivX video play- 
back, no FM radio, no video- 
calling, and no GPS navigation 
solution that does not entail 
data charges. 

Verdict 

At its incredible price, the 
phone has too many lacking 
features that will be missed 
by regular smartphone 
users. However, if you can 
live without them, there is no 
denying that the Xperia XIO 
has some truly great aspects, 
both in terms of hardware and 
software, from the capable 
camera to the snazzy 
Timescape UI. If you 
are simply looking for 
a good touchscreen 
phone, consider the 
much cheaper Nokia 
5800 XpressMusic, 
or for a comparably 
priced touchscreen 
experience along with 
a full QWERTY key- 
board, try out the N97 
Mini. 

Motorola 



Milestone 

The first thing we noticed as 
we got this baby in our hands 
was how solidly this beauty 
in black was built. Once out of 
the box, we were pleased by its 
large 3.7 inch capacitive touch- 
screen with four capacitive 
keys under it for back, menu, 
home and search. Unlike other 
sliders, where spring systems 
snap open the phone at a light 
push, Milestone requires you to 
push the upper part all the way 
till it settles with a reassuring 
click, with about one-thirds of 
the screen still overlapping the 
keyboard panel. 

The device we recieved 
was updated with the latest 
Android 2.1 and it really ful- 
fills most of our tech-appetite. 
A significant upgrade over vl.6, 
Android 2.1 now has support 
for multi-touch which com- 
plements the excellent touch 
capabilities of Milestone. It 
also has a better email expe- 
rience, improved camera con- 
trols, a revamped on screen 
keyboard, smart dictionary 
(it actually includes your con- 
tact names. Neat!!), Bluetooth 
2.1 and HTML5 support. The 
operation is smooth and there 
is no lag whatsoever. The func- 
tions are largely intuitive with 
most actions possible either by 
long pressing the screen or tap- 




MotoroLa Milestone 



ping the menu button. The 
Android has really started 
to mature beautifully with 
most things now falling in 
place, and the right place, 
with the latest version. 
Multi-tasking is smooth 
and efficient and would be a 
benchmark for the upcoming 
Apple OS 4.0. Although 
there was no option be seen 
to close the apps, this did not 
induce any lag. 

The on screen keyboard is 
excellent, especially with the 
haptic feedback enabled. The 
hardware keyboard is ergo- 
nomically designed with the 
keys slightly protruded and 
better spaced. The D-Pad 
might seem like a gimmick, 
but we found it extremely 
useful when fingertips get 
too big for selecting small 
links or accurate cursor 
positions. But what takes 
the device home is the high- 
dpi capacitive touchscreen. 
Although the brightness 
and richness of the colors is 
slightly inferior to the iPhone 
screen, the sensitivity of the 
touch is second to none and 
atleast at par with that of 
the iPhone. Also, the text is 
smoother and more readable 
on the Milestone due to its 
superior DPI. 

The bundled apps are 
fairly usable with the Email 
app one of the neatest we 
have seen on a smartphone. 
It automatically detects the 
incoming and outgoing 
servers for the typed email 
address and configures 
everything without a hitch. 
Numerous accounts can be 
created. The accounts can 
be checked separately, or 
in a combined inbox which 
collects mails from all the 
accounts. Media player 
is excellent, where indi- 
vidual tracks or albums 




ball 



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Biest IT World (India) Pvt. Ltd.: Email: 
sales@iball.co.in Mumbai - 022 - 6774 5100 / 3081 
5i00 / 9820723393, Ahmedabad - 079-2743 6373, 
Biangalore - 080-4124 3646, Bhubaneshwar - 0674- 
329 7372, Chandigarh - 0172- 325 8816, Cochin - 
0484- 232 4706, Chennai - 044- 4214 7432, 
DjBhradun - 0135- 324 4481, Guwahati - 094357 
31463, Goa - 094036 64304, Hubli - 0836- 425 7375, 
Irldore - 0731- 404 2509, Jaipur - 0141- 5134815, 
Kplkata - 033- 3008 5100, New Delhi - 093120 
86932, Lucknow - 0522- 400 5840/ 391 5840, 
NJagpur - 0712-325 3811, Nashik - 098605 39199, 
Pune - 020- 2432 1298, Patna - 0612- 326 0947, 
R^ipur - 0771- 329 3674, Ranchi - 0651- 324 4199, 
Secunderabad - 040- 2789 4847. 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.com 



99 



Cellphone test 




BEST buy: 



JUNE 2C 






Model 



Entry-level multimedia phones 



i^ultimedia/Smartphones (Rs. 12,001 to Rs. 18,000) 



Sony Ericsson HTC 



Samsung Samsung Nokia 



Naite 



Smart 



GT-S5620 
Monte 



GT-B5310 
Corby Pro 



5800 Xpress- 
_ Music 



6700 



Sony Ericsson 



Yari 



GT505 



Price (Rs) 



1,450 



9,500 



12,390 



13,900 



15,649 



15,649 



16,950 



17,000 



PLus{ 



good battery Life, 
good call clarity 



good toucln- 
screen, battery 
Life 



good caLL clarity, 
A/V playback 



good QWERTY free voice naviga- 
keypad and call tion/maps, large 
clarity screen 



good call clarity. Preloaded games 

good video 

playback 



good battery 
life and voice 
clarity 



Minus ( 



noWiFi, 256K 
colours 



noWiFi,256K 
colours 



poor camera, 
unresponsive 
touchscreen 



average touch- low camera 
screen, bad quality, 
loudspeaker 
clarity 



no WiFi con- 
nectivity, 
dated interface 
design 



poor camera, no 
WiFi 



low camera 
quality, average 
touchscreen 



Grand Totals (Out of 100) 



67.58 



60.65 



64.31 



65.99 



117 



6705 



62.10 



62.95 



Features (Out of 45) 



25.56 



23.58 



27.76 



30.29 



30.33 



28.66 



28.17 



28.08 



Performance (Out of 55) 



Physical Specs 



42.02 



37.07 



36.54 



35.70 



37.84 



38.39 



33.93 



34.87 



Form Factor 

Screen Resolution (pixels) 



Candy Bar 
240 X 320 



Candy bar 
240 X 320 



Candy bar 
240 X 400 



Side slider Candy bar 

240 X 320 360 x 640 



Candy bar 
240 X 320 



Candy bar 
"240x320 



Candy bar 
240 X 400 



Screen Size 



2.2 inches 



2.8 inches 



3.0 inches 



2.8 inches 



3.2 inches 



2.2 inches 



2.4 inches 



3.0 inches 



Screen colours 
Touchscreen / Dual Screen 



256K colors 

nTn 



256K colors 
Y (capacitive)/N 



256K colors 
Y (capacitive)/N 



16M colors 16M colors 
Y (resistive)/N Y (resistive)/N 



16M colors 

nTn 



16M colors 

"nTn 



256K colors 
Y (capacitive)/N 



Battery Rating* 



Other Features 



Operating System 
Address Book Capacity 



950 mAh 



Proprietary 
1000 



1100 mAh 



BRbW 
1000 



960 mAh 



Proprietary 
1000 



960 mAh 



1320 mAh 



Proprietary bymbian bbU 
1000 Unlimited 



970 mAh 



Proprietary 
2000 



1000 mAh 



Proprietary 
"1000 



1000 mAh 



Proprietary 



Standby Time* 



583 hrs 



600 hrs 



454 hrs 



560 hrs 



406 hrs 



300 hrs 



450 hrs 



420 hrs 



Talk Time* 



4 hrs 30 min 



6 hrs 10 min 



4 hrs 58 min 



I hrs 



5 hrs 



4 hrs 



4 hrs 30 min 



7 hrs 



Inbuilt GPS /A-GPS 
support 



Connectivity 



GPRS/HSCSD/EDGE/3G 



N 



Y/N/Y/Y 



N 



Y/N/Y/Y 



Y/Y 



Y/N/Y/Y 



Y/Y 



Y/Y 



Y/N/Y/Y Y/N/Y/Y 



Y/Y 



Y/N/Y/Y 



Y/Y 



Y/N/Y/Y 



Y/Y 



Y/N/Y/Y 



Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/IR/USB 

Bluetooth/A2DP support 
(Y/N) 



N/ Y / N / Y 
V2.0/Yes 



N/ Y / N / Y 
vZO/Yes 



Y/Y/N/Y 
vZl/Yes 



Y/Y/N/Y 
vZl/Yes 



Y/Y/N/Y 
"vZO/Yes 



N/ Y / N / Y 
vZl/Yes 



N/ Y / N / Y 
"vZO/Yes 



Y/Y/N/Y 
vZO/Yes 



Accessories ^^^^^^ 


















Overall Build Quality (So 
10) 


8 


7 


8 


9 


8 


8 


9 


7 




Overall Ergonomics (So 10) 


9 


7 


9 


9 


7 


7 


9 


7 




Keypad Design (So 10) 


9 


NA 


NA 


7 


NA 


7 


7 


NA 




Camera Specs 


Dual / Auto Focus / Flash 
(Y/N) 


N/N/N 


N/N/Y 


N/N/N 


N/N/N 


N/Y/Y 


N/Y/Y 


N/Y/Y 


N/Y/Y 




Camera Settings (So 10) 


7 


5 


8 


7 


7 


7 


9 


7 




Multimedia 


Music Formats 


MP3/eAAC+/ 
WMA 


MP3/eAAC+/ 
WAV/WMA9 


MP3/WMA/ 
eAAC 


MP3/AAC/WMA 


MP3/WAV/AAC+/ 
WMA 


MP3/WAV/ 
eAAC+/WMA 


MP3/eAAC+/WAV 


MP3/MP4 




Video formats 


MP4/WMV/H.263 


MP4/ 

H.263/H.264/ 

WMV9 


MP4/ 
H.263/H.264 


DivX 


MP4/ 

H.263/H.264/ 

WMV 


MP4/H.263 


MP4/H.264 


MP4/3GP 




FM Radio (Y/N) 


Y 


Y 


Y 


Y 


Y 


Y 


Y 


Y 




Performance 


Signal Reception, Voice 
Clarity (So 10) 




















Zones 1/2/ 3 


8/7/9 


9/8/8 


8/7/9 


9/8/7 


8/7/8 


8/7/9 


7/7/8 


9/7/8 




Earpiece Volume 


8 


8 


9 


9 


9 


8 


8 


8 




Loudspeaker clarity 


7 


8 


7 


7 


7 


8 


7 


7 




Handsfree Clarity 


8 


9 


8 


9 


9 


9 


6 


9 




Speaker Volume (on call) 


8 


7 


8 


8 


9 


9 


7 


8 




Bluetooth Transfer (MBps) 


0.16 


0.1 


0.11 


0.1 


0.16 


0.14 


0.16 


0.1 




Captured Photo Colour/ 
Crispness /Quality 


7/7 /5 


8/7 /7 


6/6 /6 


6/6 /5 


6/4 /5 


7/5 /6 


5/5 /5 


6/5 /4 




Loudspeaker / Bundled 
Earphones Quality 


7/9 


8/7 


6/6 


6/6 


9/9 


8/9 


6/8 


6/8 




Video Playback Quality 
(So 10) 


6 


6 


8 


7 


8 


8 


6 


6 




* manufacturer rated 



100 



Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



Cellphone test 






Smartphones (Rs. 18,001 and Rs. 25,000) 


Multimedia/smartphones (Rs. 25,001 to Rs. 30,000) 




^^^^^^^^^ Garmin ASUS LG ^^^^^ Sony Ericsson Sony Ericsson LG Sony Ericsson Samsung 




GW550 


Nuvifone MID 


BL40 


Vivaz 


W995 


GC900 Viewty 
Smart 


Aino 


18000 Omnia II 




17,500 


19,000 


20,000 


25,695 


26,786 


27,500 


28,950 


28,990 




good QWERTY 
keypad and call 
clarity 


great GPS, 4GB 
internal storage 


vivid screen, good 
video/audio playback 


excellent image/ 
video capture 
quality 


excellent audio/ 
video playback 
quality 


excellent video 

capture/playback 

quality 


good call clarity and 
camera quality 


bright screen, good 
customizability 




dated interface 
design, low camera 
quality 


65K colours, aver- 
age touchscreen 


low camera quality, 
erratic touchscreen/ 
accelerometer 


average touch- 
screen, low build 
quality 


low value for 
money and camera 
quality 


average touch- 
screen, low call 
clarity 


low video capture 
quality 


65k colours, poor 
sunlight legibility 




62.37 


62.53 


60.25 


71.48 


69.42 


59.13 


73.13 


66.53 




29.43 


2763 


28.35 


32.63 


30.92 


26.96 


32.90 


29.79 




32.94 


34.90 


31.90 


38.86 


38.50 


32.18 


40.23 


36.74 
















J 






















Candy bar 


Candy Bar 


Candy bar 


Candy bar 


Vertical Slider 


Candy bar 


Vertical Slider 


Candy bar 




320 X 240 p 


480x800 


345 X 800 


360x640 


240 X 320 


800x480 


240 X 432 


480x800 




2.4 inches 


3.5-inches 


4.01 inches 


3.2 inches 


2.6 inches 


3.0-inches 


3.0 inches 


3.7 inches 




65K colors 


65k 


16M colors 


16M colors 


256K colors 


16M colours 


16M colors 


16M (65K effective) 




N/N 


Y (resistive)/N 


Y {capacitive)/N 


Y (resistive)/N 


N/N 


Y (capacitive)/N 


Y (capacitive)/N 


Y (resistive)/N 




1300 mAh 


1500 mAh 


1000 mAh 


1200 mAh 


930 mAh 


1000 mAh 


1000 mAh 


1500 mAh 

1 




1 

WM6.5 


WM6.5 


Proprietary 


SymbianS60 


Proprietary 


Proprietary 


Proprietary 


1 

WM6.1 




Unlimited 


Unlimited 


1000 


Unlimited 


1000 


1000 


1000 


Unlimited 




450 hrs 


600 hrs 


370 hrs 


440 hrs 


360 hrs 


350 hrs 


367 hrs 


430 hrs 




8.7 hrs 


8 hrs 


5 hrs 


5 hrs 20 min 


4 hrs 


4 hrs 40 min 


4 hrs 30 min 


8 hrs 




Y/Y 


Y/Y 


Y/Y 


Y/Y 


Y/Y 


Y/Y 


Y/Y 


Y/Y 




^^H 


^m 


^m 


h 




Y/N/Y/Y 


Y/N/Y/Y 


Y/N/Y/Y 


Y/N/Y/Y 


Y/N/Y/Y 


Y/N/Y/Y 


Y/N/Y/Y 


Y/N/Y/Y 




Y/Y/N/Y 


Y/Y/N/Y 


Y/Y/N/Y 


Y/Y/N/Y 


Y/Y/N/Y 


Y/Y/N/Y 


Y/Y/N/Y 


Y/Y/N/Y 




v2.0/Yes 


v2.0/Yes 


v2.1/Yes 


V2.1/Yes 


V2.0/Yes 


v2.1. Yes 


V2.1/Yes 


v2.0. Yes 
















1 




7 


9 


8 


9 


8 


7 


9 


9 




7 


8 


6 


9 


8 


8 


8 


8 




7 


NA 


NA 


NA 


8 


NA 


9 


NA 




















Y/N/N 


N/Y/N 


N/Y/Y 


N/Y/Y 


N/Y/Y 


N/Y/Y 


N/Y/Y 


N/Y/Y 




7 


7 


7 


8 


8 


7 


8 


7 




















MP3/MP4/AAC/ 
AAC+/EAAC+/WMA 


MP3/eAAC+/WAV/ 
WMA 


MP3/WAV/eAAC+ 


MP3/WM A/WAV/ 
RA/AAC/M4A 


MP3/AAC 


MP3/AAC/AAC+/ 
WMA 


MP3/AAC 


MP3/eAAC+/WMA/ 
WMDRM/OMA 
DRM 2.1 




MP4/3GP 


MP4/H.264/H.263/ 
WMV 


MP4/DivX/ 
XviD/H.263 


WMV/RV/MP4/3GP 


MP4 


DivX/XviD/MP4 


MP4 


DivX/XviD/MP4/ 
H.263/H.264/WMV 




Y 


N 


Y 


Y 


Y 


Y 


Y 


Y 






































8/7/7 


8/8/6 


8/7/7 


8/7/9 


8/7/8 


8/7/7 


8/7/9 


8/8/7 




7 


9 


6 


9 


9 


6 


10 


8 




8 


7 


6 


8 


7 


6 


7 


8 




8 


8 


7 


9 


8 


6 


8 


7 




7 


6 


7 


8 


10 


6 


9 


7 




0.06 


0.07 


0.07 


0.09 


0.15 


0.08 


0.15 


0.08 




6/6 /5 


8/7 /6 


6/6.5/5 


9/9 /9 


5/5 /7 


6/7 /9 


9/8 /6 


8/8 /7 




6/7 


8/8 


6/7 


6/7 


9/9 


6/7 


8/10 


9/8 




6 


7 


8 


9 


7.5 


8 


8 


7 



















Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



101 



Cellphone test 



Core unlocking in Windows 

MSI aLLows users on their Latest boards to unlock 
cores on Locked processors from Windows 



65k Androids daily 

GoogLe predicts 65,000 Android devices 
are being soLd daily 



can be added to make play- 
lists. Audio effects work 
fairly with the comfortable 
bundled headphones. Google 
maps works smoothly and 
MotoNav's extensive location 
database is a help in locating 
hotels or restaurants. 

But it's not the bundled 
apps that Android is about. 
Enter the Android Market and 
let the shopping begin! They 
are downloaded and installed 
much quicker than what Apple 
app store does. Although 
people point out that the lack 
of restrictions is the reason that 
Android market is thriving. 
But it's more about the custom- 
izability that Android offers. 
Everything from the on screen 
keyboard to the dialer can be 
changed. File explorers and 
media players get uninhibited 
access to file system. Android 
developers are breaking free 
whereas the Apple developers 
are encountering walls. 

Verdict 

Let's admit it. Apple's iPhone 
is still the phone to beat. But 
for all those who are looking 
for something different (or 
something for the future, as 
we put it), Milestone is by far 
the best option. A year back, 
the AppStore was termed as 
the 'fab thing that will keep 
iPhone up there', but now 
it's the flabby, slow moving 
thing that may eventually pull 
Apple's mighty phone down. 
The restriction free Android 
market was touted to be the 
USP of Google's free-for-all 
operating system, and it has 
lived up to its reputation. The 
Milestone was one last throw 
of dice for Motorola, and what 
a throw it has been! 

Apple iPhone 3GS 

Having kept an Apple iPhone 
3G and 3GS side by side, it was 



impossible to tell the difference 
between the two. Such is the 
physical resemblance between 
the two versions. 

The technical sheet says the 
processor has been upgraded 
from 412 MHz to 600 Mhz. 
The RAM has been doubled 
from 128 MB to 256 MB and 
3GS has HSPDA running at 
7.2 Mbps compared to 3.6 in 
the 3G. The camera is 3.0MP 
with autofocus, which actually 
works well! The battery life is 
said to be improved but in real 
tests, we found a significant 
difference only in 2G opera- 
tion. The screen has the same 
resolution (480x320) but has a 
new oleophobic coating which 
is a relief, compared to the old 
smudge-loving iPhone screen. 
Although newer phones like 
Google Nexus One have faster 
processors, the operation of 
iPhone 3GS is slick and smooth 
with no jitters even after we 
loaded five homescreens' worth 
of apps. 

The OS 3.0 has a number of 
new tricks as well. The copy- 
paste feature for instance 
allows you to copy anything, 
like text and pictures, from 
anywhere and paste it wher- 
ever the holy blinking cursor 
exists. You can pick up text 
and images from web pages 
and paste them in your email 
or pick up the content of your 
email and SMS it to someone. 
The process is smooth with 
two end pointers that can 
be dragged to include the 
selections. 

Video recording finally 
comes to iPhone as its 3MP 
camera records VGA quality 
videos at 30fps. But again 
Apple has topped this late 
cake with a cherry. You can 
edit the videos on the phone 
itself. However, the process 
of editing is destructive, i.e. 
you either keep the original 



or the cropped, once edited, 
the old copy is lost. Although 
VGA might be considered 
ancient compared to the near 
HD quality recording most 
phones are offering today, the 
camcorder of iPhone 3GS does 
its job fairly well. 

Although iPhone 3GS 
allows push notifications 
(applications can send pop- 
ups or other alerts), its nowhere 
close to real multitasking, 
something that 3GS is well 
capable of (and would be doing 
this summer onwards!). Voice 
Control allows you to control 




Apple iPhone 3GS 

your music, make calls and do 
other little stuff like asking, 
"What track is playing?". A2DP 
comes to the rescue of those 
holding onto their Bluetooth 
music headphones for long and 
it works smoothly. 

Verdict 

Though the Android 2.1 OS 
might have pushed the 3GS 
down the pecking order, it is 
still debatable whether the 
release of Apple OS 4.0 will 
see it fighting back or withering 
down. Still, for its awesome 
app collection in AppStore, 
its excellent display, and its 



unbelievable touchscreen, the 
iPhone 3GS is a top-top phone. 

Sony Ericsson Satio 

SE Satio is Sony Ericsson's 
mighty knight in the battle of 
megapixels. It's 12.1MP is one of 
the best cameras in the market 
and the only camera we tested 
with a Xenon flash, that does 
a good job in low-light condi- 
tions. It has an OS and feature 
set very similar to Vivaz. The 
single LED flash, as compared 
to Vivaz' s double, is also a turn 
off. But strangely, the operation 
of Satio is smoother than the 
Vivaz as the Symbian S60 5th 
Edition does a better job in 
Satio, and we like most of it, 
except the part where you need 
to click twice on menu options, 
once to highlight, then to open. 
But, Satio does not have the 
Apps bundled with the Vivaz. 

Satio has an elegant Piano 
black body, with rounded 
upper and lower ends, 
and straight metallic sides 
housing a plethora of buttons 
including a dedicated camera 
button, 'camera-camcorder 
mode toggle' button, volume 
rocker that doubles up as 
'zoom' control, and a 'Media 
Gallery' button on the right 
panel. While the left side- 
panel houses the charging port, 
microSD card slot, and a 'key- 
lock' button. However the form 
factor is on the larger side, with 
the body getting particularly 
thick in the upper part housing 
the mega-camera lens and the 
huge lens cover. 

The camera does a good job. 
We might have liked warmer 
tones, but it is still the best 
camera as far as still pictures 
are considered. However, the 
video recording is average. The 
video playback was nearly as 
good as the Vivaz, and running 
close on heels of the winner of 
"Best Video Playback" award is 



102 



Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



Dell Streak 

MichaeL DeLL, CEO of DeLL shows off the new Android 
powered tablet powered by a IGHz Snapdragon 



Beovision 8 

Bang and OLufsen Launches the 40-inch Beovision 
8 LCD TV priced at $5400 (Rs. 2.7 Lakhs) 



Cellphone test 




Sony Ericsson Satio 
no mean feat. 

The Verdict: 

Go for the Satio if you need a 
good camera phone that can do 
a good job in low-Hght condi- 
tions. It did fairly well in all the 
tests, with good bundled head- 
phones. However, it is still over- 
priced, Vivaz is another option, 
which is also much cheaper. 

Conclusion 

We were sure that when com- 
paring phones of such cal- 
iber, we'd be hard-pressed 
to declare a clear winner. We 
weren't too wrong. While the 
Xperia XIO was almost imme- 
diately counted out because of 
its dated OS and incumbent 



lack of applications, the battle 
between the iPhone 3GS and 
Motorola Milestone was awe- 
some to behold. Even though 
the Milestone couldn't compare 
with the iPhone's now legen- 
dary touch- sensitivity, it was 
stunning in nearly every other 
respect, and at the end of our 
testing, came out the not-so- 
clear winner. For this reason, 
the iPhone 3GS got our Edi- 
tor's Pick award, losing out to 
the Milestone only in a few of 
our signal reception and the 
camera tests. 

The road ahead 

The future is almost here, and 
we're all eagerly awaiting it. 
India will get 3G connectivity 
by September (hopefully), the 
Windows Phone 7 OS will 
be out by the end of the year, 
4G connectivity has already 
started being offered (read the 
HTC EVO 4G on Sprint), and 
the iPhone 4 OS will be here - 
along with its carrier device the 
iPhone 4G - by mid-July That 
these events will herald a revo- 
lution in mobile telephony is 
unarguable, and as devices get 
smarter and more functional, 
the once far-fetched vision of 
augmented reality is now right 
at our doorstep. With the con- 
vergence of devices acceler- 
ating, there are exciting times 
ahead, when you can expect 
your handheld to do every- 
thing from social networking to 



FORMULA Series Graphh 



Designed with f^Ssion 
Driven to Cool ^ 



shopping, browsing to gaming, 
and productivity to displaying 
and recording 3D. 

Entry-level Business 

phones 

Blackberry Curve 8520 

The Curve 8520 is Blackber- 
ry's answer to the masses that 
clamoured for a more afford- 
able morsel. Unfortunately, 
it's price, or rather, lack of it, 
shows. The Curve 8520 cannot 
hold a candle to the other 
Blackberry phones in terms 
of materials used in construc- 
tion or build quality. It's not 
shoddy by any means, but the 
partially translucent material 
used on the front body isn't 
the most appealing. The bat- 
tery cover is decent and while 
it's not as sturdy as some of 
the other Blackberry devices 
(that aren't know for well built 
battery covers), it should suf- 
fice, as long as you're not too 
rough on it. There's no chrome 
bezel too - while this might be 
a good thing for longevity, for 
the pesky things are known for 
fall off after a couple of years 
of daily wear and tear, but this 
is fond goodbye to some much 
needed eye-candy as well. 

The keypad on the Curve 
8520 is identical to the one on 
the Curve 8900 - these key- 
pads actually feel better than 
the ones on the costlier models, 
thanks to the slight segrega- 
tion of the keys, although 



after awhile of using both, we 
seemed to get similar speeds. 

The Curve 8520 offers good 
signal reception, but it's not as 
good as the other Blackberry 
handsets, and way behind our 
benchmark Nokia handsets 

- we noticed slight distortion 
in zone 2. The loudspeaker is 
plain mediocre - distortion 
even at lower volumes is not 
very acceptable and it's only 
mildly worse than the other 
Blackberry handsets. The 
handsfree kit offers decent 
clarity. Music quality on the 
handsfree kit is good, but not 
up to the mark compared to 
some multimedia phones. 

Verdict 

Its main plus point is the price 

- at Rs. 15,000, the Curve 
8520 is a dream come true for 




BLackberry Curve 8520 



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ny enquires SMS ASUS-Dlgit to 567678 or 09220092200 | Toll Free No.: 1800-2090-36 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.com 



103 



Cellphone test 



Banks respond 



Banks have agreed to give 'cLean' Loans to teLcos after the 
heavy bidding for 3G spectrum aLLocation. This means there 
wiLL be no specific security required 



Fusion coming soon 

There have been rumours that AMD's 
Fusion wiLL be out before the years end 
instead of the expected 2011 release 



those wanting the goodness 
of a sweet QWERTY keypad 
and Blackberry Messenger 
and their famous pop mail 
service, but not willing to pay 
above Rs. 20,000 for such 
a device. Sure, the body isn't 
typical Blackberry in terms of 
look and build, but it's a good 
chunk of dough less and not a 
bad deal for it. Although, we 
figure the likes of the Nokia 
E71/E72 will have something 
to say about that. 

Blackberry Curve 8900 

This is a very neat looking 
phone with a chrome bezel 
that runs around the phone 
with a wider accent towards 
the bottom. The phone's bat- 
tery cover has a brushed alu- 
minium finish but is plastic. 
The keypad is slightly different 
from the higher end Blackberry 
Bold devices and similar to the 
Curve 8520. There is a slight 
gap between each key making 
each of the keys slightly smaller. 
However, there's no difference 
in the finger-to-key contact area 
since all Blackberry handsets 
have keys with a raised strip 
in the middle and the rest of 
the key tapers inwards either 
side. In fact this segregated 
keypad feels just as good, and 
first impressions actually rate 
it's keypad as more usable than 
the Bold 9700. 

The trackball can get a touch 
unresponsive as the device 
wears with daily use. A 3.5mm 
jack has been provided on the 
right side, the volume rocker 
button works well and is intui- 
tively designed. The Micro USB 
port also sits on the right, below 
a pretty decent camera button. 
The SIM is a pain to remove, 
unless you have long nails. 
Compared to this, the Bold 
9700 has a flawless SIM tray 

In- call quality is very good, 
the Curve 8900 has a really 



sweet antenna - no dropped 
calls. The loudspeaker is pretty 
loud at maximum volume, but 
distorts, even at lower volumes. 
Vocals are understandable, 
but music isn't much fun. The 
headset offers good quality and 
good volumes. Camera quality 
is mediocre - decent colour, but 
sharpness is ordinary. 

Verdict 

Recent price slashes have kept 
the Curve 8900 competitive 
- it's a good handset for the 
price, although at Rs. 20,000 
odd, you could also pick up 
Nokia's lovely E72 that will 
match the Blackberry for 
nearly all features and add a 
couple to the table. 




Blackberry Curve 8900 



Business phones above 
Rs. 20,000 

Nokia E72 

The E72 joins above the E71 near 
the top of the line. The phone 
offers great performance and 
usability across its many means 
of communication, from video 
calls to IM, email to SMS, MMS 
to VoIP, and of course, voice calls. 
The E72 is available in seven 
different colours, offers 3G sup- 
port (HSDPA 10.2Mbps and 



HSUPA 2Mbps), and 
has a 2.4-inch QVGA 
(320x240) screen. Run- 
ning on the Symbian 
Series 60 v3.2 OS, the 
phone's UI on its widescreen is 
not very pleasing to the eye, but 
then again, as a business phone, 
it is functional but not clut- 
tered, which is what matters. 
The phone has a business size 
battery as well, at l500mAh. 
Our test phone lasted over two 
days on a single charge, even 
when using GPS and WiFi, and 
making calls. 

The optical track pad is 
bounded by the D-pad, which 
seriously limits the easy flick-to- 
use navigation and scrolling that 
is possible on the optical track 
pads of comparable BlackBerry 
phones. While the still camera 
is good, the video resolution of 
VGA@l5fps is quite low. DivX 
support is not free. No UI auto- 
rotate when in camera mode and 
no dedicated camera key. 

On the whole, the phone 
offers some great call clarity 
through the earpiece, loud- 
speaker and handsfree, and 
we experienced no call drop- 
ping in our testing. The keypad 
is well designed, with easy to 
press buttons that are spaced 
well-apart in an acceptable 
trade-off with a large form 
factor. The dedicated mail, 
home, contacts, and calendar 
keys are very useful, and well- 
placed. The flashlight is also 
nice touch, unexpected on a 
business phone. 

Verdict 

The phone definitely serves its 
business messaging function 
well. Apart from a small screen 
size and video recording resolu- 
tion, there is not much we can 
fault the E72 for. Though it offers 
pretty good value for money 
when you take into account its 
great features, it still can't be 




Nokia E72 

compared to the much cheaper 
full-QWERTY, LG GW550, but 
it is definitely a much better buy 
if you have the money. In terms 
of free Ovi Maps and turn-by- 
turn voice navigation, it com- 
pares well against the similarly 
priced Garmin-Asus Nuvifone 
MIO, with accuracy levels and 
directions that are at par the 
navigator phone. The Nuvi- 
fone MIO goes one step ahead 
though, with its more detailed 
NAVTEQ Maps, as well as its 
much larger screen making for 
easier visual navigation. 

Blackberry Bold 9000 

The biggest of the Blackberry 
devices in test, it is quite a 
handful - literally The Bold 
9000 is boldly large, and none 
the worse for it. The device is 
well build, and the entire rear 
(that is dominated by a huge 
battery cover) is leather - very 
neat and novel looking (and 
feeling!). We also think the 
larger dimensions mean a 
better keypad as it gets a touch 
more spacing - typing is the 
proverbial piece of cake - get- 
ting emails written is a snap. 
There is a downside too - the 
Bold 9000 might be too large 
for some hands, and makes 



104 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tliinkdigit.conn 



Seagate Momentus XT 

Seagate continues efforts with tiieir iiybrid 
liard drives wiiicii come witii 4GB onboard 
fLasii memory along witii tine standard disl< 



BFG exits graphics market 

BFG lias decided to stop making grapliics cards 
after failing to liit targets 



Cellphone test 



quite an unseemly bulge in 
ones pocket as well. The track- 
ball is decent, but pales in com- 
parison to the new trackpads. 
Another thing we noticed is the 
new Bold 9700 is slightly faster 

- this is especially noticeable 
in the multimedia folder, when 
the Bold 9000 takes noticeably 
longer to display thumbnails 
and previews of content. This is 
also visible in the menu struc- 
ture, when selecting certain 
sub options, the newcomer is 
slightly faster in virtually all 
aspects. 

Even the menu button is a 
bit larger and wider, ditto the 
call buttons. At first glance the 
display looks pretty sharp, but 
when you compare it to the new 
Bold 9700, one can make out a 
difference in sharpness, for the 
newcomer has a marginally 
higher resolution and a slightly 
smaller display. 

Call quality and in-call 
clarity of the earpiece is good 

- we had no disconnected calls, 
and no issue with signal recep- 
tion. The loudspeaker plays 
spoilsport - it distorts, and 
makes a mockery out of vocals 
when listening to music, espe- 
cially at high volume levels. It 
is loud however, a small saving 
grace, the Bold 9700 offers 
slightly better audio quality. 

Verdict 

The Bold 9000, like the 
Curve 8900 is significantly 




cheaper than it was last year, 
but we wonder if that alone 
will be enough to warrant 
recommendation. Its size is 
a deterrent, but those who get 
hooked to the large QWERTY 
keypad will probably not 
mind. 

Blackberry Bold 9700 

Where the Blackberry Bold 
9000 was really wide to 
accommodate a slightly 
bigger keypad, the Bold 
9700 goes slim, probably 
based on feedback from users 
who found the Bold 9000 
too large. The leather now 
extends to nearly the entire 
battery cover and imparts a 
quality, upmarket feel. The 
"Bold" moniker embossed in 
the plastic on the rear above 
the battery cover looks a little 
tacky though. The chrome 
trim still runs around the 
sides and the bottom though 



now it's only visible on the 
bottom of the device, it doesn't 
intrude on the very slim bezel 
- clearly screen area was of 
utmost importance, and the 
Bold 9700 marginally nar- 
rower than the Curve 8900. 
Although the device is well 
built, we noticed the bat- 
tery cover developing slight 
play after just ten SIM card 
removals. 

The trackpad on the 9700 
is very sensitive, and works 
well. It's better than the track- 
ball, and can be said to be an 
improvement. The voice com- 
mand key, volume rocker 
button and camera button 
that are on the sides have a 
nice rubberised finish and 
aren't chromed, giving the 
9700 a subtly classy look. 
The display has nice, sharp 
fonts - even fine print is very 
readable, and dark te xt is 
rendered on a white back- 
ground beautifully. 

Call clarity is good - the 
Bold 9700 has a slightly 
better loudspeaker than 
the Curve 8900 - calls are 
clearer, and even music 
sounds better. Thanks to the 
good earspeaker and antenna, 
calls are very clear and rarely 
is a call dropped - we encoun- 
tered no breaks in call clarity 
during our tests. The camera 
is basic - decent colours but 
basic clarity. Camera settings 
are basic too. 



Verdict 

For those who just have to have 
a good Blackberry handset - 
the Bold 9700 offers a quality 
handset with a very nice 
keypad and loads of features. 
It's stylish too - definitely for 
the upward business class; it 
doesn't come cheap though 
- Rs. 29,990 is a fair bit for 
a phone, especially with the 




Blackberry Bold 9700 

craze of large, high resolution 
screens that is going around, 
the Bold 9700 isn't too hot for 
non-business class consumers. 

Blackberry Tour 9630 

A solidly built device and 
one that features a sturdily 
constructed battery cover - 
solid plastic has been used. 
It's noticeably bigger than the 
Curve 8900 and Bold 9700, 
but smaller than the mighty 



AmExelKlve 



ww^.asuS.iFi I T0I[ Free No.: 1BDQ-2090-365 
For any anquirns SMS ASUS -Digit k> 567678 




Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.com 



105 



Cellphone test 






Lifestyle/High-end Multimedia Smartphones 






Entry-level Business phones 




Nokia 


Motorola 


Sony Ericsson 


Sony Ericsson 


Apple 


Blackberry ^^^^^^^^^^^ 


Model 


N97Mini 


Milestone 


Xperia XIO 


Satio 


iPhone3GS32GB 


Curve 8520 


Price (Rs) 


30,989 


32,990 


35,795 


35,950 


41,500 


14,990 


Plus (+) 


large screen, good 
keypad 


great touchscreen. 
Loudspeaker 


great camera quality 
and battery Life 


good image quality, 
good battery life 


great touchscreen and 
app availability 


Affordable 


Minus (-) 


no DivX playback, 
no D-pad 


no task manager 
(ender) 


65k colours 


low call clarity and 
loudspeaker quality 


Bluetooth limitations 


Shoddy build 


Grand Totals (Out of 100) 


68.96 


69.55 


64.58 


64.24 


60.66 


55.01 


Features (Out of 45) 


31.50 


30.55 


28.31 


30.83 


27.27 


26.02 


Performance (Out of 55) 


37.46 


39.00 


36.27 


33.41 


33.39 


28.99 


[^Q^^^^^^^l 














Physical Specs 


Fornn Factor 


Horizontal slider 


Horizontal sliding 


Candy bar 


Candy bar 


Candy bar 


Candy bar 


Screen Resolution (pixels) 


360x640 


480x854 


480x854 


360x640 


320 X 480 


320 X 240 pixels 


Screen Size 


3.2 inches 


3.7 inches 


4.0 inches 


3.5 inches 


3.5 inches 


2.46 inches 


Screen colours 


16M 


16M colors 


16M(65K effective) 


16M colors 


16M colors 


65000 


Touchscreen / Dual Screen (Y/N) 


Y (resistive)/N 


Y (capacitive)/N 


Y (capacitive)/N 


Y (resistive)/N 


Y (capacitive)/N 


N/N 


Battery Rating* 


1200 mAh 


1400 mAh 


1500 mAh 


1000 mAh 


1219 mAh 


1150 mAh 


Operating Systenn 


Symbian S60 


Android 2.1 


Android 1.6 


Symbian S60 


Apple OS 


Blackberry OS 


Address Book Capacity 


Unlimited 


Unlimited 


Unlimited 


Unlimited 


Unlimited 


Unlimited 


Standby Time* 


310 hrs 


350 hrs 


425 hrs 


340 hrs 


300 hrs 


408 hrs 


Talk Time* 


6hrs 


6 hrs 30 min 


8 hrs 


4 hrs 50 min 


5 hrs 


4 hrs 30 min 


Inbuilt GPS /A-GPS support 
(Y/N) 


Y/Y 


Y/Y 


Y/Y 


Y/Y 


Y/Y 


N 



uonnectivity ^^^^^^^m 












Browsing (GPRS/HSCSD/ 
EDGE/3G) 


Y/N/Y/Y 


Y/N/Y/Y 


Y/N/Y/Y 


Y/N/Y/Y 


Y/N/Y/Y 


Y/N/Y/N 


Connectivity (Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/ 
IR/USB) 


Y/Y/N/Y 


Y/Y/N/Y 


Y/Y/N/Y 


Y/Y/N/Y 


Y/Y/N/Y 


Y/Y/N/Y 


Bluetooth/A2DP support (Y/N) 


v2.0/Yes 


v2.1/Yes 


v2.1/Yes 


v2.0/Yes 


v2.1, Yes 


2.0 /Y 



Accessories 


^H 












Overall Build Quality (So 10) 


8 


9 


8 


8 


9 


6.75 


Overall Ergonomics (So 10) 


8 


8 


8 


7 


8 


75 


Keypad Design (So 10) 


8 


8 


NA 


NA 


NA 


8 


Camera Specs 


Dual Cameras / Auto Focus / 
Flash (Y/N) 


N/Y/Y 


N/Y/Y 


N/Y/Y 


N/Y/Y (Xenon) 


N/Y/N 


N/N/Y 


Camera Settings (So 10) 


9 


8 


8 


8 


5 


5 


Multimedia 


Music Formats supported 


MP3/WM A/WAV/ 
eAAC+ 


MP3/eAAC+/WAV/ 
WMA9 


MP3/eAAC+/WMA/ 
WAV 


MP3/WAV/WMA/ 
eAAC+ 


AAC/HE-AAC/MP3/ 
ALAC 


MP3, WMA, AAC+ 


Video formats supported 


WMV/RealVideo/ 
MP4 


MP4/H.263/H.264/ 
WMV9 


MP4/H.263/H.264/ 
WMV 


MP4/H.264/H.263/ 
WMV 


H.264/MP4/M0V 


DivX, WMV XviD, 3gp 


FM Radio (Y/N) 


Y 


N 


N 


Y 


N 


N 


Performance 














Signal Reception, 
Voice Clarity (So 10) 














Zones 1/2/ 3 


9/8/7 


8/8/8 


9/8/6 


6/7/7 


8/7/5 


7.25 / 6 / 5.5 


Device Earpiece Volume 


8 


8 


8 


8 


8 


6 


Device Loudspeaker clarity 


8 


8 


7 


7 


7 


5.75 


Handsfree Clarity 


7 


8 


8 


7 


8 


6.5 


Speaker Volume (on call) 


7 


8 


8 


6 


7 


6 


Bluetooth Transfer Speed 
(MBds) 


0.08 


0.14 


0.11 


0.09 





0.15 


Captured Photo Quality (So 10) 














Captured Photo Colour / Crisp- 
ness / Quality 


8/8 /9 


7/7 /8 


9/9 /6 


7/8 /7 


7/7 /7 


6.5/5.5 /6 


Loudspeaker / Bundled Ear- 
phones Quality 


8/8 


9/9 


7/8 


6/8 


7/9 


4.5/6.25 


Video Playback Quality (So 10) 


8 


9 


7 


8 


9 


6.25 


* manufacturer rated 



Bold 9000. This is a dual SIM 
phone that features GSM and 
CDMA network connectivity. 
The battery cover opens neatly 
to reveal two SIM slots, slightly 
offset from each other. The 
GSM SIM slot is more of a pain 
to access than the CDMA slot. 



We got a Reliance locked 
device, so our testing on the 
default Vodafone network was 
not possible. In terms of key 
locations - the buttons on the 
side are identical to the Curve 
8900. The keypad is more like 
the Bold 9700 - which is to say 



it's very usable - within the first 
15 minutes your typing speed 
will start to pick up. The track- 
ball should have been ditched 
for the new trackpads that offer 
greater intuitiveness and accu- 
racy, but this is a slightly older 
model. 



In-call clarity was pretty 
good, the only possible gripe 
is the loudspeaker clarity is 
not good. When compared to 
phone's like Nokia's N95 8 GB 

- a benchmark in this regard 

- the speaker on the Tour 
9630 and other Blackberry 



106 



Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



digit 



JUNE ZOIO 



Cellphone test 





Business phones above Rs. 20,000 












^^^^rif'HH'MJ^'^^^^^^^^W 


gHBgW 1 


Blackberry 


Samsung 


Blackberry _^^^^_ 


Blackberry _^^^ 


■. 




Curve 8900 


E72 


Bold 9000 


B7610 OmniaPro 


Tour 9630 


Bold 9700 






18,990 


22,989 


23,900 


26,500 


27,990 


29,990 






Compact, great keypad 


excellent call clarity 


Great keypad, voice clarity 


good QWERTY keypad 


Solid build, dual SIM 


Beautiful and powerful 






Loudspeaker quality 


low camera quality, small 
screen 


Fit and finish 


65k colours, poor sunlight 
legibility 


Expensive 


Mediocre loudspeaker 






59.85 


68.09 


60.68 


67.58 


59.43 


62.16 






28.16 


31.32 


28.29 


31.86 


28.26 


28.83 






31.69 


36.77 


32.38 


35.72 


31.17 


33.33 
















^ 










Candy bar 


Candy bar 


Candy bar 


Horizontal slider 


Candy bar 


Candy bar 






480x360 pixels 


320x240 


480 X 320 pixels 


480x800 


480x360 pixels 


480x360 pixels 






2.4 incines 


2.36 inches 


2.6 inches 


3.5 inches 


2.4 inches 


2.44 inches 






65000 


16M 


65000 


16M(65K effective) 


65000 


65000 






N/N 


N/N 


N/N 


Y (resistive)/N 


N/N 


N/N 






1400 mAh 


1500 mAh 


1500 mAh 


1500 mAh 


1380 mAh 


1500 mAh 




^^^^^M '^M 


^^H 




^^^f 




^^1 








Blackberry OS 


SymbianS60 


Blackberry OS 


WM6.1 


Blackberry OS 


Blackberry OS 






Unlimited 


Unlimited 


Unlimited 


Unlimited 


Unlimited 


Unlimited 






356 hrs 


576 hrs 


310 hrs 


480 hrs 


336 hrs 


408 hrs 






5 hrs 30 min 


6 hrs 


5 hrs 


6 hrs 48 min 


5 hrs 


6 hrs 






Y/Y 


Y/Y 


Y/Y 


Y/Y 


Y/Y 


Y/Y 
















J 






Y/N/Y/N 


Y/N/Y/Y 


Y/N/Y/Y 


Y/N/Y/Y 


Y/N/Y/N 


Y/N/Y/Y 






Y/Y/N/Y 


Y/Y/N/Y 


Y/Y/N/Y 


Y/Y/N/Y 


N/Y/N/Y 


Y/Y/N/Y 






2.0 /Y 


v2.0/Yes 


2.0 /Y 


v2.0, Yes 


2.0 /Y 


2.1 /Y 






















7.25 


8 


7.25 


8 


7.5 


7.5 






7.5 


7 


7.5 


7 


7.5 


7.75 






8 


8 


8.25 


8 


8 


8 










N/Y/Y 


N/Y/Y 


N/N/Y 


N/Y/Y 


N/N/Y 


N/N/Y 






4 


9 


5 


7 


5 


5 










MP3, WMA, AAC+ 


M P3/WM A/WAV/RA/AAC/ 
M4A 


MP3, WMA, AAC+ 


M P3/WAV/e-AAC+/WM A/ 
AMR 


MP3, WMA, AAC+ 


MP3, WMA, AAC+ 






DivX, WMV,XviD, 3gp 


WMV/RV/MP4/3GP 


DivX, WMV, XviD, 3gp 


DivX/XviD/MP4/3gp/ 
H.263/H.264 


DivX, WMV, XviD, 3gp 


DivX, WMV, XviD, 3gp 






N 


Y 


N 


Y 


N 


N 






































8/6.75/6.25 


9/8/8 


8/7/7 


8/7/7 


7.5/6.5/6.5 


8 / 7.25 / 7 






7.25 


9 


7.25 


8 


6.25 


7.25 






6.25 


8 


6.5 


8 


6.5 


6.75 






7.25 


9 


7.25 


7 


6.5 


7.25 






6.5 


7 


6.25 


6 


6.25 


6.75 






0.14 


0.15 


0.15 


0.09 


0.15 


0.17 






















6.5/6 /5.5 


6/5 /5 


6.5/6 /5.5 


8/8 /7 


6.5/5.5 /6 


6.5/5 /5.5 






4.5/6.5 


5/9 


4/6.5 


9/8 


4.5/6.5 


4.75/6.5 






6.25 


7 


6.25 


7 


6.25 


6.5 









handsets seems archaic and 
an afterthought. However, the 
loudspeaker is better than the 
one on the Apple iPhone - so 
we won't complain much. The 
camera is strictly mediocre, 
but it's presence on a business 
device is welcome. 



Blackberry Tour 9630 

Verdict 

The Tour 9630 
makes interesting 
deviation from most 
Blackberry devices 
by offering dual SIM 
slots - we don't think 
too much of dual SIM 




phones, and CDMA 
is not too popular 
with carriers around 
the world. That being 
said, if you've got two 
SIM cards and have 
been looking for a 
good dual SIM phone. 



this is a nice, quality option 
that's not short on business- 
oriented features.E] 

Vinod Yalburgi and Abhinav 

Lai, with inputs from 

Ahmed Shaikh 

readersletters@thinkdigit. com 



Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



107 



HDTV test 



Games drive 3D 

Analysts cLaim that 3D games wiLL drive the 
demand for 3D displays and glasses. Evidently they 
feel that 3D movies are not a sufficient motivator 



Galaxy's single slot GTX 470 

Galaxy has just done the impossible - they've built a GTX 
470 graphic card with a single slot cooler - no mean feat 
considering Fermi's heat generation 



Michael Browne 

michael.hrowne@thinkdigit.com 

The HDTV market is 
at a most interesting 
juncture right now. 
As with any in- 
demand consumer product, 
manufacturers are constantly 
upping the ante by churning 
out more and more products 
to meet the ever burgeoning 
demand. Sadly, along with 
popularity comes the deceit, 
the subterfuge and the per- 
tinent omissions. It's often a 
matter of quantity over quality 
We see the market flooded with 
options, in the hope that one 
or the other will hook you. For 
this reason, we see several par- 
allel product lines, often with 
little difference in the under- 
lying technology save for a few 



tweaks, and a few tertiary fea- 
tures. This is a tried and tested 
formula: add a different shape 
and stand, add a few lights 
and slightly larger speaker 
enclosures, and voila - a new, 
costlier product line is born. 
Increments to performance, if 
any, are mostly minimal. That's 
not to say there are no improve- 
ments in HDTV and allied 
technology - quite the contrary 

- there is a lot of research going 
on, even as you're reading this! 
It's just that you need to wade 
through hype a mile wide and 
decide between reality and 
purple prose - not the easiest 
thing to do. 

Amidst all this, there's one 
thing we unanimously agree on 

- HDTV's are both the present 
and the future. As higher reso- 
lution, (read high-definition). 



content slowly gains popu- 
larity, whether it is cable TV 
or Blu-Ray content, the appli- 
cations for a large flat screen 
are many. Connect it to your 
Blu-Ray player, your XBox 
360 or PS3 and even your PC. 
The sheer realism of watching 
movies on a large screen that 
dominates most of your field 
of view is something that 
simply cannot be replicated by 
smaller displays, and it has to 
be experienced to be believed. 
So plonk into your couch, grab 
a bowl of popcorn and fire up 
that gigantic beauty while we 
dim the lights. Wait! - Before 
we get ahead of ourselves, 
we're only dimming the lights 
for our calibration purposes; 
you need to buy an HDTV first. 
Choose from amongst these 
beauties... 



LG 47LH50YR 

Large and Lovely 

A very handsome looking dis- 
play, although it doesn't have 
the fancy stand and sleekness 
of its LED-backlit siblings, it's 
built of pretty sturdy materials 
and a piano-black finish that 
although common, is also hard 
to goof up. High quality plastic 
is used everywhere, and the 
rear is also pretty thick. The 
thick neck of the stand suits its 
bulk, and at 47- inches it's pretty 
large, noticeably larger than a 
42-inch display. The swivel 
action on the stand is slick. 
The power indicator is sweet, 
and unobtrusive, yet catchy. 
A red LED is placed behind a 
wide contoured transparent 
strip of fibre to give a nice 
glow effect. This turns to blue 
when powered on. The menu 



Redefined Realism 



HDTVs are getting bigger, better and 
cheaper by the month. There are 
many models and brands to choose 
from. We test a few of the more 
value-for-money offerings available. 





108 



Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



3 TB HDDs soon 

Seagate has promised 3 terabyte hard 
drives Later on tiiis year. Stay tuned 



New PSP 2.0? 

Sony's new PSP version 2.0 miglit 
feature a Low power CeLL processor, 
making it a veritabLe powerLiouse 



25nm flash memory 

InteL is tLie first vendor to get to tLie 25nm 

race for fLasLi memory and Lias reLeased fLasLi 

cLiips based on a 25nm manufacturing process HDTV test 




system is excellent - great 
colour schemes used and very 
intuitive and simple, yet with a 
good many options - absolutely 
no complaints. 

While using default set- 
tings, the display has a warm 
colour tone that looks slightly 
over saturated, but the con- 
trast ratio and blackness level 
is better. The display gives 
the best blackness level at 
factory settings, although it 
looks slightly dim. Fiddling 
with contrast and brightness 
is a fine line - overstep either 
way and you'll end up with 
either washed out colours or 
grey-looking blacks. Very few 
displays can manage to give 
pure blacks and great bright- 
ness and legibility at the same 
time, and this isn't one of them. 
The Spyder does a fair job of 
calibrating once factory set- 
tings are reverted to. In the 
DisplayMate greyscale inten- 
sity check, the display does 
well, displaying up to square 
number four, numbers three 
and downwards are not visible. 

Backlight bleeding is not 
intrusive, but it is noticeable. 
During movies there is very 
good colour, highlights are 
good but not overdone. Col- 
ours appear natural, with 
good detail and while the black- 
ness level is good, it isn't out- 
standing. It is, however, made 
up for, by a good variation in 



LG 47LH50YR 



intensity of grey (good greys- 
cale depth). Movies look very 
nice and realistic, and there is 
good highlighting as well as 
good detail in darker scenes. 

When gaming, there is 
noticeable input lag - some- 
thing we didn't see much of in 
the smaller 42-inch LG display. 
This is a minus point to be sure, 
the good news is - it's better 
than the displays we saw last 
year, meaning manufacturers 
are finally pulling up their 
socks with respect to input lag. 
But in fps games, accuracy suf- 
fers, especially when zooming 
on an enemy to shoot, there is 
noticeable lag that causes either 
over or under tracking and it's 
tough to aim accurately. Text 
is sharp and crisp - no issues 
with readability - this makes 
it a great accompaniment for 
your computer. The USB con- 
nect is useful if you want to play 
DivX movies and view JPG/ 
JPEG files. Quality of DivX 
over USB is good, in fact there 
is little difference in quality 
when playing off a computer. 
The speakers are pretty good - 
voices sound loud and natural, 
raising the volume doesn't dis- 
tort anything. 

Priced at Rs. 75,500 (MRP), 
the 47LH50YR has a lot of 
features on offer, great con- 
nectivity, and with impressive 
performance across the board 
it's very suitable for someone 



looking for a great display to go 
with a high-end home theatre 
set up. With very sharp text, 
it's equally suitable for a com- 
puter, though input lag is the 
only sore spot for gamers. The 
fact that the street price will be 
a lot lower is the cherry on the 
proverbial cake - a highly rec- 
ommended buy. 

Samsung 
UA40C6900VRMXL 

When black isn't sinful 

The Samsung UA40C6900 
belongs to their 6 series of 
affordable LED-backlit dis- 
plays. And a stunner it is - a 
nice brushed-metal finish to 
the bezel, surrounded by trans- 
parent fibre - pretty classy, and 
the overall effect is nice. If you 
thought the bezel thin, wait 



strikes you is the total lack of 
backlight bleed when starting 
Windows - LED-backlit dis- 
plays just appear to have 
much deeper black levels. The 
remote unit is nice, built well 
and with large, illuminated 
buttons, but the lack of segre- 
gation between the directional 
keys and centre button is not 
intuitive, especially with the 
large keys - our thumbs kept 
constantly pressing the arrow 
keys when we wanted to press 
the key in the centre. 

Just decreasing brightness 
from 60 to 50 led to the black- 
ness level coming to a respect- 
able 0.29 from 0.76 - rather 
weird that a marginally higher 
brightness should cause such 
a loss in blackness levels. The 
contrast ratio was oddly not as 




Samsung UA40C6900VRMXL 



till you walk around the side 
of the display - it's super slim, 
and constructed very well - the 
rear is metal - there's no outer 
plastic body to add bulk and 
weight. All connects are flush 
fit into the body the cable TV 
connect even has an L adapter, 
so you needn't worry if the 
thicker cable wire looks like 
a squeeze against the body. 
And the stand is also uncon- 
ventional, having four legs - 
similar to some Dell monitors. 
The chrome on the upper part 
of the stand may look loud 
to some. The first thing that 



good as we'd expected - with 
all embellishments turned off, 
it was just above 400:1 - not 
what we expected. Turn on 
dynamic contrast and it jumps 
to 622:1. Despite this rather 
mediocre setting, we noticed 
great separation in blacks and 
darker colours. In movies, 
the blacks look pretty black, 
although there seems to be 
slight graininess to the image 
and the backlight response 
isn't perfect. But plenty of 
detail is visible in dark scenes 
- in foliage, where you can see 
shadows on vegetation, and 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.com 



109 



HDTV test 



Tesla in HPC servers 

IBM instaLLs NVIDIA's TesLa T20-senes 
computing processors inside tlieir new System X 
iDataPLex dx360 IMS iiigii performance servers 



No more BFG graphics 

BFG, an NVIDIA-onLy vendor, lias quit the 
graphics card business, evidently to concentrate 
more on building gaming systems 



the darker green of the leaves 
themselves. However, this is at 
slightly lower brightness set- 
tings. If one raises the bright- 
ness a bit, the detail in darker 
scenes will be lost. Input lag is 
noticeable, but it's not as bad 
as the LED displays we tested 
last year. Brightness levels defi- 
nitely need to be slightly higher, 
but not at the expense of blacks. 
Samsung's Internet@TV is sup- 
ported - a LAN port is provided 
for this, allowing access to cer- 
tain sites like Yahoo and Flickr. 
The widget-based interface is 
decent to use, and you can add 
and delete widgets accordingly. 
As with anything new and 
shiny, prices are always a little 
insane. The UA40C6900 
retails for Rs. 1,05,000 - a fair 
bit of cash that can buy you a 
very decent 50-inch plasma 
display, with a better blackness 
level. That being said, LED- 
backlighting is quite the rage 
now, and most consumers who 
crave sex appeal from their TV 
sets have certainly come to the 
right place. If you've got deep 
pockets, and looks are more 
important to you than ultimate 
visual quality the UA40C6900 
is right up your alley. 

Sony Bravia 
40NX500 

Black Lover 

This display dismayed us with 
its ultra wide bezel that makes 
it look somewhat a fossil in 
this age of stiletto-like bezels; 
where looks are sometimes all 
that matters. The stand has a 
half brushed aluminium, half 
piano black finish and is quite 
large, and very plain looking. 
The remote control unit is 
pretty nice and the entire base 
slides out to access the batteries 
- build quality of everything is 
top class. The buttons on the 
display are really good - located 
on the side, but have great feed- 




back and are intuitive. The 
menu system is simple, but 
requires more button presses 
than LG's menu, to get things 
done. The "Favourite" menu is 
a nice addition where you can 
add commonly changed set- 
tings for quick access. Sony's 
remote has a peculiarity where 
it's easy to press the channel 
change keys when using the 
directional keys, because both 
these keys are designed as con- 
centric rings - this is particu- 
larly annoying when one tries 
to move around the menus as 
we had to keep looking at the 
remote to avoid hitting the 
wrong key. 

Testing confirmed highly 
deficient reds; we could not 
get the reds to the point we 
wanted, even though we tried 
to increase the red bias and 
reduce the blue bias. We ended 
up with a warm, orange hue to 
the picture. Keeping colours 
neutral, red is deficient. Once 
decently calibrated, we saw a 
very good blackness level and 
the Spyder agreed with us by 
throwing up a minimum lumi- 
nance of 0.14 - this is excellent, 
although the colours were 
not absolutely neutral, and 
the picture had a slightly but 
noticeable reddish hue. The 
screen is very reflective - not 
good unless you're prepared 



to keep all the lights off while 
viewing it. It does an excellent 
job of native 1080p movies - 
great blackness level, great col- 
ours, (with the slight reddish 
tinge), and superb contrast, 
but it doesn't do as well with 
non-native content, including 
720p content - the upscaling 
was noticeable. DVD videos 

Sharp Aquos LC40L50M 



are bigger displays available for 
close to the same price. How- 
ever, that doesn't change the 
fact that the 40NX500 has a 
very sweet contrast ratio and 
good overall quality - this was 
our overall Best Performer. It's 
brilliant contrast, great per- 
formance in the gaming arena 
and native 1080p content 
ensured it earned this spot. 

Sharp Aquos 
LC40L50M 

Hey there sharp Lookin! 

This display exudes build 
quality. It's well designed, the 
rear body has great quality 
plastics - the remote control is 
also very well built. The bezel is 
a little wide, but no wider than 
LGs displays that look smaller 
owing to the outer bezel being 
made of transparent fibre. The 
menus are decent, but laid out 
with a weird colour scheme 




also gave us a similar problem. 
Our DivX movie did not 
play as advertised when we 
used the USB ports, although 
images worked fine. We tried 
another DivX file to the same 
effect - the other displays that 
supported DivX through USB 
didn't give this problem. Priced 
at Rs. 68,900, the 40NX500 is 
a good TV, but it could do with 
a slight price reduction - there 



such that any background 
colour interferes with read- 
ability. This limits its usability 
and to a certain extent the intui- 
tiveness. There is a quirk in 
the interface - input ports are 
listed with numbers i.e. input 
port 1, input port 2 and so on, 
no differentiation is made on 
the basis of type of connect. 
Also the type of connect used 
will remain as an indicator on 



110 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tliinkdigit.conn 



Android away 

Android has already displaced WIM, and experts say 
tliat by 2011, Android wiLL catcii up to Apple iPiione 



HDTV test 



screen till a toggle key called 
"display" is used - you decide 
whether this feature is useful 
or intrusive. 

Reds are slightly deficient 
and higher intensities of red 
blend to the point of being 
indiscernible. Greens are well 
produced and natural, while 
blue is slightly saturated. There 
is very little backlight bleeding, 
and this helps with the black- 
ness level. Measured blackness 
level is not very good. If one 
lowers the brightness level, to 
improve blacks, then detail is 
lost. 1080p videos look good, 
but there is some missing detail 
in darker scenes, and white 
and dark regions are divided 
by some banding with halos. 
There is also chroma noise in 
darker scenes. DivX and DVD 



Samsung and Sony displays. 

Volume level of the speakers 
is quite high, but clarity is not 
top notch - it is however, more 
than acceptable for regular 
viewing. All in all, the Aquos 
LC40L50M is a sohd offering 
that would be even better if 
the panel had a better contrast 
ratio. It's price of Rs. 64,900 
(MRP) is expensive, and there 
are better options around for a 
little more. 

LG 42LH60YR 

Jazz theatre 

The Jazz Theatre is LGs top 
product line in their range of 
CCFL-backlit . This display has 
a very nice stand, the surface 
of which is glossy black and 
has some shiny blue pieces 
embedded in it, giving it a 




LG 42LH60YR 



videos have the usual issues 
with sharpness, but colour and 
brightness levels are good, once 
again the lack of a blackness 
level means you need to turn 
the brightness down, thereby 
sacrificing on some detail for 
better blacks. Gaming was fun 
- input lag is not very notice- 
able and the colours were 
pretty good. However, environ- 
ments didn't have as much of a 
vibrant feel to them as the LG, 



rather chic look. It's well built, 
though we found the bezel a 
little too wide. This is evidently 
to conceal the large speakers 
mounted in the sides. The 
speakers are powerful enough 
to justify the excessive adver- 
tising focus LG has done on 
them, but they're nowhere near 
a replacement for a speaker 
system, nor do they provide 
an engaging enough sound to 
be called "surround speakers". 




Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



111 



HDTV test 



Dynamic contrast ratio 

This much-hyped term is maLigned in our Labs and 
for good reason - it tal<es into account bacl<Light 
adjustment and variable brightness 



Torchlight makes it big 

The dungeon crawler Torchlight has just sold 
5,00,000 copies. The publisher buys a stal<e in the 
developer studios for 8.4 million US dollars 



The twin lights on the sides of 
the TV are a distraction when 
watching anything, unless 
you're gaming, in which case 
you're close enough to the dis- 
play to ignore them. LGs menu 
system is very good - brilliant 
in fact - simple, yet detailed and 
requires less button presses 
than Sony's menu. 

The colour produced is 
really nice - the 42LH60YR 
is as good as the 47LH50YR 
in this regard. Colours have a 
natural and very realistic tone. 
The contrast, typical for an IPS 
panel wasn't up to the mark and 
is this display's only weakness. 
The blackness level wasn't up 
to the 47-inch LG 47LH50YR 
and this becomes noticeable 
when watching movies with a 
lot of dim scenes. Still, it's not 
a major deterrent in regular 
viewing, unless you're really 
discerning. 

When calibrating the Jazz 
Theatre, we found we could 
get a better black level, but 
at the expense of the picture 
becoming relatively dimmer 
than what is acceptable for 
viewing purposes. When kept 
at good brightness levels, the 
blackness level is mediocre. 
Regardless, at normal bright- 
ness and contrast 
levels, blacks appear 
washed out - not a 
very good thing. When 
gaming, what was 
very nice was the nearly 
total absence of input 
lag. That, combined 
with some great colour 
and adequate contrast, 
made for a highly sat- 
isfying gaming experi- 
ence. The speakers do 
their job nicely, although 
they're not very different 
from the 47LH50YR's 
speakers - which is a 
compliment to the larger 
sibling. 



VftEST 



An MRP of Rs. 70,900 
might seem a lot for a 42-inch 
display these days, but with LG 
street prices should be much 
lower - close to Rs. 60,000 
- this makes it a good buy, 
although you could just as 
easily go with the 42-inch ver- 
sion of the LH50 series and not 
miss anything. 

Moser Baer 
MBIK32HD 

Highly affordable 
surprise package 

MoserBaer isn't a huge name 
in HDTV circles, but their 
MBIK32HD impressed us with 
good build quality that was 
much better than the Onida 
32-inch Diamond Kyrock. Even 
the stand is more rigid - some- 
thing the Onida sorely lacked. 
Bright reds have a distinctly 
pink hue. This is immediately 
noticeable, and quite annoying. 
Manually tuning the display 
mitigates this to some extent. 
Note that this is not a full-HD 
display - 1366 x 768 is the 
native resolution. The remote 
unit is decent, mediocre build 
quality but buttons work well 
and are well spaced, it also 
works well from close to the 
display. DivX through USB is 
supported. 




Moser Baer MBIK32HD 



Post calibration, we noticed 
finer texture on the skin. The 
contrast is much better than the 
Onida Diamond Kyrock, which 
one would normally pit against 
this display, both being in the 
same size class. Pixel sharp- 
ness is good, and even though 
this isn't a full HD screen you 
will not notice any problem 
viewing 1080p videos. Good 
greys and blacks along with 
a good contrast ratio mean a 
better all round experience. 
There is very good highlighting 
in movies - sun on a persons 
face, sweat beads etc. The col- 
ours are vibrant, but not over 
rich. The slight lack of tonal 
accuracy and neutrality spoils 
things, especially in scenes 
with a lot red, where pinkish 
hue is noticeable. 

Gaming is fun - a 
lack of input lag makes 
first person games easy 
to play because aiming 
is mostly spot on. Sur- 
prisingly, highlighting 
is not as good in games 
- but this is probably 
because of the lower 
native resolution that 
it is not as noticeable. 
The obvious solu- 
tion would be 
to move farther 
away from a 
lower resolu- 
tion display, 
to make up for the pixel 
count, but this intrudes 
on the immersive feeling 
of being closer to the view. 
Overall, the 

MBIK32HD impressed us 
with a very good picture 
quality and will definitely 
satisfy someone looking 
for an affordable display 
with good performance to 
boot. A retail price of Rs. 
29,990 is pretty low, even 
for 32-inch displays - if 
the market price is any 



lower, the MBIK32HD is a steal 
of a deal, although, we haven't 
come across many MoserBaer 
displays in electronic malls. It's 
a brilliant value buy - our Best 
Buy, an award shared with the 
HaierLB32R3. 

Onida 32 Diamond 
Kyrock 

Doesn't rock hard 
enough! 

The Diamond Kyrock under- 
whelmed us from the begin- 
ning. To start with, its build 
quality is iffy - while the panel 
is encased in thick plastic, the 
stand has a fair bit of play and 
the TV can actually vibrate on 
account of this, if you touch 
it. The stand is one of the 
most important parts of the 
body of a TV, especially since 




Onida 32 Diamond Kyrock 

many people are averse to wall 
mounting smaller displays, 
and having a wobbly stand is 
a glaring minus. The menu but- 
tons are on the top of the TV 
- this makes them easy to use 
if the TV is on a table, as long 
as it's not too high. But not so if 
it's wall mounted - all the more 
ammunition against Onida for 
the shaky stand. The remote 
has very nice, soft buttons that 
are a joy to use and although the 
menus are laid out well and are 
pretty simple, some advanced 



112 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tliinkdigit.conn 



New Samsung LED display 

Samsung's new C9000 series Launched internationaLLy. 
These edge-backLit LED displays feature 3D support 
and are available in two sizes - 46 and 55-inches 



Gigabyte X58 UD9 



Gigabyte has released their X58 UD9 motherboard, 
based on Intel's X58. This behemoth supports 4-way 
Crossfire and SLI 



HDTV test 



options are missing, much to 
the chagrin of advanced users 
who will want to tweak set- 
tings. The remote needs to be 
pointed at the sensor before 
it works properly, not good if 
using from close. From about 8 
feet away it's less finicky. 

This panel features full 
HD support, although at its 
native resolution, text wasn't 
sharp. The blackness level is 
very poor, and owing to this 
even the lower grey shades are 
indistinguishable from each 
other. The first twelve squares 
were missing in DisplayMate 
- a poor start since the best 
displays will miss only the first 
two squares, and even the LG 
47LH50YR, that didn't have a 
very good blackness level only 
missed the first four squares. 
Dark grey shades blend with 
black. Moire was also present, 
rearing its ugly head in our pat- 
tern tests. Higher intensities of 
red will also blend as the gamut 
for red isn't wide and you will 



rffif 








Haier 


1860-180-3333 


info@haierindia,com 


www.haierindia.com 


LG 


91-120-2560900 


rohitpandit@Lgindia.com 


www.Lgindia.com 


Moserbaer 


+91-11-4059 4560 


Shilpi.kapoor@moserbaerin 


http://shop.moserbaer.in 


Onida 


+91-22-66975667 


response@onida.com 


www.onida.com 


Samsung 


+91-124-4881234 


susmita.nag@samsung.com 


www,samsung.com/in 


Sharp 


1860-233-4001 


customer.care@sharpindialimited.com 


www.sharpindiaLimited.com 


Sony 


1800-103-7799 


sonyindia.care@ap.sonycom 


www.sony.co.in 


Videocon 


+91-124-4215400 


marketing@vgmaiL.in 


www.videocond2h,com 


VU 


+91-22-2837 7300 


info@technoLogies.vu 


www.technoLogies.vu 



notice banding. Dark shades of 
almost any colour will blend. 
When watching non-native 
resolution movies the black 
band on the top has a 
noticeable backlight 
bleed. DVD content 
has a lot of noise in 
the darker intensities. 
When watching native con- 
tent movies, the quality is 
OK, but with 720p content, 
there is a lack of sharpness 
noticed. 

The speakers are very 
loud, but there is noticeable 
distortion and background 
noise is pretty intrusive 
on the overall experience. 



There is a lot of sibilance to 
the vocals. At Rs. 35,900, the 
Diamond Kyrock is expensive 
for the performance it offers, as 

^TESTBirr ^f-111080p display 

— ' ifl we expected it to cost 
' ■ ■ more than the other 




Haier LB32R3 



32-inch 720p displays, but the 
flagging performance was the 
last nail in its coffin. 

Haier LB32R3 

A higher living? 

This TV looks decent, while 
the remote is the real 
novelty - it's white and 
looks busy with a lot of 
function buttons, but 
the labelling could be 
better. For example, the 
key labelled "source", 
does nothing, and it took 
us 5 minutes to figure 
out that the function 
"source" was assigned 
to the button below that. 




DDflll 

1333X la 20O0X 667 ta 1 2O0 



EDHC hircdSDHC 

2GeeQ32GB IGBtoliGB 



2010 FT COPAPflSSKOtlMT,* 
BEST VALUE BUV AWAflD CH»4 

fiH»2 32DGB/500G8m40GB 32DGe/500G&640GQ 



1^, 



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AuttiDfized RMA Service Center ACCEL FRONTLINE 
fur A-DATA branded products, ^^^^^Hi^^^^^H 



Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



113 



HDTV test 



Macbooks better now 

The new Macbooks get a better CPU, faster GPU 
and a new battery that is good for ten hours - a 
win-win situation? But rumours of overheating 
rears its ugLy head 



No pron? 

Steve Jobs got into a flame war with Ryan Tate, a Gawl<er 
bLogger via email. Among other topics. Jobs was against 
porn and promised "a world free from porn". Hmmm... 



VU LTV-46I 



A soLidLy buILt display with a nice 
stand, the entire body features 
a glossy black finish. Initially 
we wondered about the extra 
thickness, then we noticed this 
display houses a small netbook- 
grade computer in its shell, which 
is why VU Technologies used the 
suffix "i", signifying intelligent. 
The display is quite heavy and 
the body made of solid plastics. 
For such a large screen it's a 
shame that the stand does not 
swivel. The remote needs to be 
pointed very accurately at the IR 
sensor, else will not work, this 
makes close operation prob- 
lematic. There is an Intel Atom 
processor, 1 GB of RAM and a 160 
GB hard drive built in, meaning 
you actually have a ready HTPC, 
albeit with the barest of hard- 
ware configurations. If this set 
up included the ION platform, 
we'd swallow it, since the Atom 



processor struggles with HD 
content. It coughs and chokes 
on 720p content, let alone full 
1080 videos. We'd also have 
liked a Blu-Ray optical drive - 
this would be a killer, but sadly 
wishes aren't horses. 

While the blackness level is 
mediocre at best, it will do for 
the most part, although you will 
notice the deficiency. What is 
not good is the lack of variation 
in intensity in grey. In movies this 
is noticeable in darker scenes and 
even in certain well-lit scenes. 
One example was of a cobbled 
sidewalk that was grey in colour 
with a lot of variation as part 
of it was sunlit and part in the 
shade. It was interesting to note 
the blending of some grey here 
- the display evidently struggles 
to resolve detail present in grey. 

When running Crysis Warhead, 
the display refused to display the 




game at a resolution of 1080p 
and you see a blank blue screen 
(not to be mistaken with a BSOD). 
We needed to reset the game res- 
olution lower than 1080p for this 
to work, surprisingly S.T/A.L.K.E.R 
worked fine at 1080p. 

It's a feature rich display 
rich, but the MRP of Rs. 95,000 
is hard to swallow. If it were a 



great performing panel with an 
lON-based computer built into 
it, we'd have considered it, but 
the fact that you can buy an LG 
47LH50YR and a PS3 for that 
price is reason enough to avoid 
recommending it. It is a novel 
solution however, and kudos to 
VU for coming out with something 
of the sort. 



The display comes with some 
nifty built in games, accessible 
via the remote control unit; a 
plus, though given sufficient 
addiction, the longevity of the 
remote could suffer. This TV 
comes with a memory card slot 
and 3.5mm headphone out jack. 
The display has a decent 
blackness level. Colours are 
pleasing, though we'd like a 
little bit of a natural look to 
some colours. In some scenes 
with a darker background with 
the foreground having 
lighter highlights detailing 
is visible. Skin tones are 
spot on - a strong plus. 
The pixel response seems 
to be on the lower side. In 
fast moving scenes, some 
sort of tearing appears. 
Gaming was a fun experi- 
ence, except that we found 
the pixel response to be a 
problem when playing 



fast action first person shooter 
games. The speakers are pretty 
basic, vocals have a slight dis- 
tortion to them. 

Priced at Rs. 31,990 the 
LB32R3 is a good buy, although 
it's also slightly pricier than 
the MoserBaer MBIK32HD 
that has a better quality panel. 
You couldn't go wrong between 
either of these displays - it 
shares the Best Buy with the 
excellent value-for-money 
MoserBaer MBIK32HD. 




Samsung LA32C65GL1RLXL 



Samsung LA- 
32C650L1RLXL 

32" of Joy 

The LA32C650 bespeaks 
quality from the time it's 
unpacked - thick plastic meets 
solid glass and metal here. The 
stand for starters, is pure glass, 
except the neck that, we suspect 
is transparent fibre. The rear is 
metal, unlike the other displays 
that use plastic. The remote is 
identical to the Samsung LED 
UA40C6900. 

While calibrating we 
noticed mediocre black- 
ness levels - but then, 
there were many displays 
that fared worse. The 
colour is generally good 
and tonally accurate - 
the colour levels aren't as 
splendid as it's LED sib- 
ling. There is good colour 
in movies, with a decent 
amount of detail in grey 



- we were able to make out 
the detail and texturing of the 
mane of a black horse in one 
of the scenes where there was 
quite a bit of dark grey (clouds 
and shadows) and dark green 
(foliage). Only offerings from 
LG, Sony, and Samsung's own 
LED display could outdo this 
display. 

One needs to keep the 
brightness really low to get a 
good black level, but the dis- 
play does well with grey-scale 
intensity. It has an RJ45 port, 
Samsung@TV is supported. 

The price was a little high, 
even for a high-end 32-inch, 
full-HD panel - Rs. 54,900 isn't 
as affordable as we'd have liked, 
but it's a fine full HD panel. 

Videocon 3205HD 

Get, set, go! 

This display is well built, except 
for the stand that isn't stable. 



114 



Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



HDTV test 



GM and Google team up 

This team up is evidentLy for developing an application 
for Android tliat wiLL give important information about 
CiievroLet's upcoming car "VoLt" on tine driver's ceLL piione 



Android's leaking juice! 

Everybody l<nows Android piiones are liard on 
batteries. Some GoogLe employees iiave taken to 
blaming application developers for this particular flaw 



For some reason the remote 
didn't work and we had to use 
the buttons on the side of the 
unit itself, these buttons are 
small and hard, and thus, hurt 
ones fingertips. 

Another bug - 1080p, for 
which there is native support 
would appear with two black 
vertical strips on each side, and 
there was no way to remedy 
this. Text wasn't sharp, despite 
fiddling with the settings. 
Reducing the contrast doesn't 
do much - in fact the difference 
between contrast being set at 
100 and 70 is barely noticeable. 

We could see slight back- 
light bleed in the centre of the 
display. In the shade ramp test, 
the three most intense hues of 
red and green blend. This is 
pretty poor. In reverse text 
tests yellow and white on green 
backgrounds were quite poor, 
as was yellow text on a white 
background. 

There is no separation 
between black and grey - this 
makes certain darker scenes 
with subtle variations in grey 
blend. Bright halos aren't done 
very well - there seems to be an 
orange hue to them and high- 
lights aren't as spectacular as 
they're meant to be. Addition- 
ally, there is banding visible in 
blue-sky scenes. 

There is slightly percep- 
tible input lag in games, but it 
doesn't affect gameplay, unless 
you're playing lightning fast. 



HOW WE TESTED. 



We divided the displays prima- 
rily on the their sizes and then 
on the price. For this test we 
connected these displays to a computer 
and all testing was done via HDMI con- 
nectivity, which is, the most common 
connect used. The PC used consisted of 
a Core 2 Duo E6700 CPU, ASUS EAH5850 
graphic card, 4 GB Corsair DDR3 RAM, 
ASUS P5Q3 Deluxe motherboard and 500 
GB Western Digital HDD. The graphics 
card has a dedicated HDMI port, so no 
converter was used. Windows 7 Ultimate 
32-bit was our OS of choice. For media 
playback we used Windows Media Player 
with the relevant codecs. 

First of all, we used the Spyder3Elite 
to calibrate each display, and in the 
bargain got values for black and white 
levels and brightness. Maximum bright- 
ness is arrived at by setting bright- 
ness, contrast and backlighting to their 
maximum values, and is a look at how 
bright the display can get. What was 
interesting that our brightness differed 
from manufacturers rating. For nominal 
brightness we set brightness, contrast 
and backlight intensity to comfortable, 
normalised levels. We refrained from 
using a set value of 50, 50, 50 for each 
parameter, as different displays are rela- 
tively brighter at even the same settings. 
The luminance level of white and black 
was tested at nominal brightness levels. 
Before calibration we set brightness, 
contrast and backlighting to levels that 
were pleasing and uniform to the eye. 
The following settings were done on the 
TVs: Colour tones were set to neutral, or 
medium where applicable. Sharpening 
was turned off, or kept down. Colour tone 




was neutral. Zero bias was used for RGB 
values. Noise reduction was turned off, 
as was any dynamic contrast and back- 
light settings. If a display was capable of 
more than 60 Hz, this was also turned 
off. Some displays have a cinema mode 
(24 frames per second), also called the 
2-3 pulldown, this was also turned off. 
Since calibrating using the Spyder got us 
such diverse results, we deeded to finely 
tune each TV to what appeared to be a 
better image. There is no fixed formula 
for calibration - some displays look too 
vibrant, some too washed out, some have 
a very low default black level, while others 
do not have sufficient brightness. 

After calibration and logging of 
the values that were thrown up, we 
ran DisplayMate Video Edition to check 
the contrast, blackness level and grey- 
scale intensity ourselves. The grey-scale 
intensity is an important test, for while 
a display might be able to produce good 
blacks and intense whites, many flounder 
to accurately produce a wide gamut of 
grey - some intensities of grey tend to 
blend, and as the intensity comes closer 
to black, we see a lot of problems to 
display shades very close to black, but 
not quite black. This is of great essence 
with any sort of multimedia including 
both movies and games. If a display is 
measured to have poor greyscale inten- 
sity, you will not see detail in shadows 
and dimly lit scenes - either such areas 
will look washed out, or everything will 
appear black. DisplayMate was also used 
to fine-tune the calibration given by the 
Spyder3Elite. 

The videos (1080p, 720p and 
DVD) we used consisted of full length 



twitch-based first person 
shooters. Good colour and 
sharpness in Crysis Warhead, but 
this refused to run in full screen 
mode. S.T.A.L.K.E.R ran fine in 
full screen mode, no issues with 
input lag and colours and con- 
trast were pretty good, except 
that darker scenes look a little 
less detailed. 

This display comes with 



videos and action clips from the fol- 
lowing movies: Iron Man 2, Resident 
Evil: Afterlife, The Human Centipede, 
Kingdom Of Heaven, Australia, Laws 
Of Attraction. The HD videos were all 
uncompressed Blu-Ray-format files. The 
DVD videos were .VOB files. For the DIVX 
playback via USB, we used two DIVX files, 
one transcoded from a .VOB file, and the 
other from a 720p video. 

We used 1080p and 720p videos in 
addition to DVD videos to see how these 
displays handled not only native content 
but also non-native content, where some 
sort of downscaling is required. These 
clips were a mix of dark scenes, lots of 
complex colours, fast action scenes and 
bright daylight. For our games tests we 
used S.TA.LK.E.R Call Of Pripyat and 
Crysis Warhead. Games were run at 
their native resolution. We checked for 
colour, contrast, brightness and HDR of 
the displays, as well as pixel and backlight 
response. Additionally we looked at the 
occurrence of input lag, characterised 
by a lazy mouse with some delay in 
response - all displays have it, we rated 
how severe it was. 

For features, we noted the presence 
of connectivity options, as well as the 
menu options available. We judged the 
quality and usability of buttons on the 
displays and their remote units, and the 
intuitiveness of the menu system. Scores 
were awarded on a scale of 1 to 10 for 
subjective opinions, whereas measur- 
able values were taken for objective tests. 
We didn't assign weights to luminance 
and contrast ratio values given by the 
Spyder3Elite simply because a slight 
change in any setting impacts the scores. 



DTH built in that only needs an 
antenna to work. At Rs. 35,990 
the 3205HD isn't a bad deal - 
it's slightly better than Onida's 
Diamond Kyrock with a couple 
of extra features thrown in for 
the same price tag. But it cannot 
compete with the superior 
quality of the MoserBaer 
MBIK32HD and Haier LB32R3 
- which are cheaper.Cl 



Workshop 



Faster Chrome 

GoogLe releases new Chrome build which 
improves performance even more and 
integrates Flash without a pLugin 



STB drives soon 

Rumours about Seagate being the first 
to release a 3 Terabyte drive floating 



Getting the real picture 

Gaudier, brighter and sharper isn't always better- 



Rossi Fernandes 

rossi.fernandes@thinkdigit.com 

When you 
buy your 
new LCD or 
Plasma TV, 
you need to get an HTPC run- 
ning first. TVs can be decent 
LCD monitors and at the same 
time, they are ideal for playing 
back high-definition content. 
When that's done, calibration is 
the next most important thing. 
Calibration is necessary to get 
the display running at its best. 
Now, you can go buy a hard- 
ware calibrator like the Spyder 
3 Elite, which we use in the test 
centre for all our TV and mon- 
itor tests. They are great but 
no one really wants to spend 
another Rs. 15,000 on a device 
they'll probably only use once 
very few months. 

Let's look at the best we 
can do without depending on 
such a calibrator. All you need 
to do is get your TV hooked up 
to an HTPC preferably using 
HDMI or Component, so that 
you get the TV running at its 
native resolution. Avoid D-Sub 
at all costs. 

Aspect ratio and 
input resolution 

A lot of people want to use abso- 
lutely the entire screen area no 
matter what they're watching. 
When you're watching cable 
TV or DTH, and forcing the 
TV to run the 16:9 aspect ratio 
resolutions of 1920x1080 or 
1366 X 768 (in case of a non-full 
HD TV), your image is going 
to appear stretched. To fix this, 
always use the input resolu- 
tion. In most TVs, you should 



the find an option called Just 
Scan under the TV setup menu. 
On the computer end, set the 
display resolution to the native 
resolution. In certain drivers 
and displays, you might have 
to adjust the Overscan setting 
so that the image fully occupies 
the entire screen. 

Colours tweaking 

The colours are some of the 
most important parameters 
that need tweaking on a TV or 
LCD monitor. Now, most TVs 
come with controls for the col- 
ours but if yours doesn't have 
it, then you can make changes 
to the colour settings in your 
display driver's colour profile. 

Take a printout of a reference 
image - preferably with a mix 
of many colours. This printout 
should be ideally taken on a 
good calibrated printer which 
will print neutral colours. Here 
is one sample reference image - 
http://assetsl.colormailer.com/ 
web/calibration.jpg. 

Use this printed image as 
a reference and display the 
image as a full screen 
image using an image 
viewer on your PC. 
Start adjusting the 
colours by holding 
the printout next to the 
TV. Start with the red, 
move on to the blue 
and then the green. 
Keep in mind that 
changing the value 
of one colour affects 
other colour levels. 
This is a very subjec- 
tive way of looking at 
things, so compare 
closely with the refer- 
ence image. 



Brightness and 
Contrast settings 

The brightness and contrast 
are equally important. The 
chart on the following page is 
useful for setting up the bright- 
ness and contrast levels for 
your display - www.lagom.nl/ 
lcd-test/black.php#blacktest. 
png. Set your brightness first 
to the maximum and contrast 
at round 50 per cent. Now, 
adjust the brightness in a way 
such that the black band at the 
extreme appears the darkest. 
Now increase the contrast such 
that all the blocks go darker 
gradually. Adjust till the white 
block is the brightest and all the 
adjoining blocks go darker in a 
very uniform manner. 

Turning off 
enhancements 

There are a few features adver- 
tised by TV manufacturers 
which apparently improve 
image quality. However, it 
isn't the case will all of these 
features. The noise reduction 
feature for example is useful 



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Using the ATI Catalyst drivers 
to change coLour Levels 



for reducing pixilation while 
playing low resolution videos 
on a large screen. With high- 
definition content, it's not nec- 
essary. Keeping the feature on 
will only make the image look 
softer and lose some detail. 

The sharpness feature is 
also best left at the minimum. 
Adding sharpness adds an 
edge-like feel to everything on 
the screen. Although, a little bit 
of sharpness helps HD movies 
look a little better, for dis- 
playing fonts on a PC display, 
it are really bad. 

Contrast and colour 
enhancements features should 
also be left untouched. All the 
calibration that you do goes 
down the drain when you use 
this. Remember, we want col- 
ours to appear natural. 

One of the new trends is 
the refresh rate of displays. 
With the TVs running at high 
refresh rates, movie frame rates 
go haywire. A 23.9 7fps movie 
being synchronized to run at 
120Hz for example can give the 
impression of being smooth but 
there are some speeding and 
slowing down and problems 
audio syncing that take place. 
Preferably, turn this off as well. 



Lighting setup 

Lighting around your 
TV is equally important. 
If you calibrate your 
TV and then, have lots 
of sunlight coming in 
through the windows, 
you are going to see a 
drop in colour accuracy. 
Brightness and contrast 
settings also go out the 
window. When you set 
up your TV, make sure it 
isn't facing a window and 
there shouldn't be any 
bright objects or lights 
behind you. If it has to, 
make sure you have thick 
curtains covering them.H 



-3 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.com 



117 



street smart 



120 



Killer rigs 



122 



Price watch 




Music on the move 

So many MPS players and PMPs in the nnarket. How do 
you choose? 



Recently, someone in the Digit team 
lost the ability to play music on 
the go, when the audio jack on his 
Nokia 3500c stopped functioning. 
Yes you heard that right, he still owns that 
ancient relic of a phone the NokiaSSOOc! 
Now you know why I'm not revealing this 
person's name. Let's save the poor bloke 
some embarrassment right? 

First up I decided to go to my favourite 
haunt for tech products - Lamington 
road. Here I was sure to find not only 
branded players from the likes of Sony, 
Philips, and Creative, but also hoards 
of those Chinese unbranded devices. 
The reason I'm curious about these is 
because every now and then you do find 
a gem even in the unbranded space. 

The prospective budget 'Mr. Ancient 
Phone' gave me was a generous Rs. 6,000. 
This opened up my choices by a consider- 
able margin. There were little shuffle-like 
mp3 players with no screen, players with 3 
to 4 line LCD/LED screens, and then finally 
colour display PMPs with screen sizes of one 
inch and above. 

The MuVo T200 4 GB was available for 
Rs. 2,800. Now the shop keeper was quick to 
point out the sticker on the box that said upto 
2000 songs. "This does the work of 8 GB" 
he said. Now before I could wonder whether 
the player used some highly advanced 



compression technique on the flash memory 
itself, I found out that there was a caveat - 
'Approx. 4mins per song at 64kbps WMA. 
'Ah no wonder", I thought. And here the 
shopkeeper was trying to give me a load of 
hogwash. The 2GB version was available for 
Rs. 2,400. 1 wasn't too impressed with this 
player though. 

The next shop I went to showed me an 
interesting player. It was an almost exact 
replica of the Apple Nano, but with a price 
tag of Rs. 3,600 for 8 GB. The player was 
from a company called Gemini. I looked at it 
with a fair amount of disdain and struck up 
a conversation with the shop owner about 
cheap ass Chinese rip offs and how they stop 
functioning the moment you walk out of 
the store. Much to my surprise he said "The 
player comes with a one year warranty, so 
it's not strictly a nameless Chinese product. 
There's nothing technically wrong with the 
device, just don't drop it and it'll last you 
well". Hmm easier said than done. But apart 
from that it was commendable how perfectly 
it nailed the Apple design, right from 
the interface to the touch sensitive 
scroll wheel. 

While browsing though 
some shops I also got a 
chance to operate a couple of mp4 
players with rather large screens (3 
inches +) from a company called JXD. Now 



these things also had a 2.0 MP Camera. 
The interface was rather crappy with both 
Chinese (or Japanese I couldn't tell) and 
English menus. The build quality of these 
devices - all in the range of Rs. 2,600 to Rs. 
2,900 - was abysmal. It felt like you could 
literally crush the device by accident if you 
held it too tight. 

This was a problem I faced with most 
players. But as buyers what you can do is 
look at a couple of aspects. Bass level - is 
it too boomy? Check the output level - is it 
loud enough? And lastly check whether it 
distorts. 

In the course of the shopping session I 
saw several players. There was a Sansa 8 
GB for Rs. 5,500. A Sony Walkwan Eseries 
(NWZ-E443) for Rs. 4,500 which had FM, a 
2 inch display and a capacity of 4GB - not a 
bad price point considering it's a player from 
Sony. A Samsung 8 GB player that caught 
my eye was the YP-Ql. It had touch sensitive 
keys, 2.4 inch screen and a very lively inter- 
face for Rs. 5200. In this range the Philips 
Aria 4GB was good too with a 2 inch screen 
and video capability. Note however that most 
of these players require you to transcode 
video using the bundled software. Speaking 
of Philips, I found the whole Vibe series to be 
pretty useless with a 1.5 inch screen and with 
buttons that feel really cheap. What's the 
point of such a small screen? You can't really 
enjoy video on it. 

So now it's decision time. For my friend 
with a budget of Rs.6000 I'd recom- 
mend the easy to use Philips Aria which 
is available for Rs. 5000 and comes with 
noise cancellation earbuds. For those of 
you who want to take a chance with the 
Nano replica, the Gemini one is not a bad 
option for Rs. 3,600 considering there's 
a warranty on it. For a basic MP3 player 
with an LCD screen I think the Moserbear 
MP565 2GB for Rs. 1,500 is a good value 
option. It's got FM and a decent interface. 
In terms of sound it was loud enough and 
when better earphones were plugged in, 
it sounded even better. For audiophiles 
on the go who refuse to listen to anything 
other than uncompressed audio, for 
Rs. 2,500 the iAudio E2 is a 

good option as it plays a 
wide variety of file 
formats including 
FLACH 



118 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tliinkdigit.conn 




Portable video 

Most PMPs play video in a format called Streaming 
Mobile Video with the file extension .smv 



AVCHD camcoder by Sony 

Sony announces an AVCHD camcoder to be Launched in 3rd 
quater of 2010. BuiLt around the new E-mount system, it wiLL be 
compatible with existing alpha Lenses 



Agent 001 



[fij I am Looking for a graphics card for my 
desktop. I pLay high end games but I don't 
need eye-candy features turned on. IMy 
desktop configuration is Pentium duaL core 
2.8 GHz, 1 GB Ram, 256 MB onboard ATi 
video solution, 500 GB HDD. My budget is 
Rs. 5,000. 

Anand 

S You haven't mentioned which 
motherboard you are on, but I assume 
you have a PCI Express slot. In case you 
don't, I recommend upgrading your PC 
itself, because an older AGP card will cost 
you a bomb without giving any perform- 
ance benefits. But for the most suitable 
graphic card for Rs. 5,000, 1 recommend 
looking at AMDs ATi Radeon HD 5670 
GPU. Cards based on this GPU should be 
priced around the 5,000-rupee mark, 
though prices may be on the higher side 
of 5K. If you want something a little 
cheaper, look at the NVIDIA GeForce 
9600GT. Cards based on this GPU 
should cost you no more than Rs. 5,000. 

[fij I have been using Creative EP 630 for 
two years now and was satisfied by their 
quaLity. Now I am Looking for an upgrade 
and change of earphones. My budget is 
preferabLy under 1,000 Rs. My require- 
ments are in-ear earpLug, 1.2 m cord 
(shorter cords are irritating), normaL Y 
cord and no punchy bass. I have short- 
Listed two earphones namely Creative EP 
830 and Sony MDR EX33LR Are either of 
them any better than EP630? PLease 
recommend any other brands that you find 
suited to my needs. 

Mihir Pendse 

Q The Creative EP630 is actually the 
best value that can be had for Rs. 1,000. 
The EP830 is slightly costlier, depending 
on where you shop for it, as online stores 
will offer it for Rs. 1,000, but local shops 
will charge as much as Rs. 1,600. At some 
places, the EP630 sells for more than Rs. 
1,000. If you want something dramati- 
cally better, you need to up your budget 
to at least Rs. 3,000. Else, any difference 
will not be noticeable. The EP830 is 
better built than the EP630, but there is 
hardly any difference in performance. 



kfij I am thinking of buying a PC for multi- 
media purposes onLy here is the configura- 
tion and the prices from http://www.Lynx- 
india.com and its not meant for gaming. 

• Gigabyte GA-EG41MF-US2H Rs. 3,885 

• InteL Core 2 Duo E7500 Rs. 5,408 

• ThermaLtake Strike MX Rs. 3,675 

• WDC 640 GB SATA 3.5" Rs. 2,657 

• Sapphire Radeon HD 4550 

• CooLermaster eXtreme Power PLus 500W 
Rs. 2,893 

• CooLermaster Hyper TX3 Rs. 1,173 

• RAM 4GB Corsair Rs. 4,000 

• Sennheiser HD201 Rs. 1,335 

• BenQ G2220HD Rs. 9,200 

• Logitech CLassik Keyboard KlOO Rs. 350 

Abhishek Joshi 

S The configuration is good for multi- 
media, but the price of the CPU seems to 
be a little high. Since you are not gaming, 
the graphics card is a good choice. I do 
not think there is a need to purchase a 
CPU cooler, unless you are planning to 
overclock, because the E7500 is a very 
cool CPU. Make sure to double-check the 
terms of delivery, because you are getting 
a rather big package shipped and 
preferably it should be insured. 

BL: PLease suggest me a good CPU + 
motherboard + RAM combo. My preferred 
configuration is: 

InteL Core 2 Duo E7500 / E8400 
/ Q8400 (Rs. 8,000/-). Motherboard 
preferred brands - Gigabyte, ASUS (Rs. 
8,000/-) with a good onboard graphic and 
sound card. I aLso need a cabinet with 
450W good SMPS. 

Vinod AgarwaL 

S I would go with a Core 2 Quad Q8400 
along with a Gigabyte G41 motherboard. 
2 GB DDR2 800 MHz RAM would cost 
you Rs. 2,500, 1 would recommend going 
for 4 GB. Look at Kingston. Go with a CM 
Elite 330 chassis and a VIP 450 watt 
power supply. 

L£j My 5-year oLd PC with foLLowing config- 
uration: 

• Processor: InteL P4 CPU 2.4GHz 

• motherboard: ASUS P4GE-MX 

• RAM: 768 MB DDR 

• SMPS: 250W 



• HDD: 80GB IDE HDDs 

• Graphics card: NVIDIA FX5500 256MB AGP 

• Samsung DVD writer 

I need such PC that wiLL be used in 
software deveLopment. Dot net Latest (3.5), 
Database server Like MSSQL 2005, OracLe. 

Amit Naik 

Q I would recommend an AMD Athlon II 
X2 240 (Rs. 2,900) and a Gigabyte 
MA78GM-US2H (Rs. 4,200). Buy 4 GB of 
DDR2 800 Kingston RAM, this will cost 
you around Rs. 5,100. Make sure you get 
two sticks of 2 GB each. The motherboard I 
have suggested has a 780G Northbridge, 
that features a Radeon HD 3200 integrated 
graphics solution - much better than the 
GeForce FX5500. 1 recommend a 400- 
watt power supply from VIP for the same. 

[Si PLease heLp me to choose between 
budget touch phones Like LG Cookie Pep, 
Samsung Corby & Nokia 5233. 

Arindam Bagchi 

S I have assumed you are talking about 
the Samsung Corby Pro (B5310). I recom- 
mend the Corby Pro, simply because it also 
has a decent hardware QWERTY keypad, 
whereas the other phones mentioned here 
do not. We tested this phone and found it to 
be a decent buy, if you must have a budget 
touchscreen phone. 

Lfii I am pLanning to buy a new digitaL 
camera for shooting documentaries for my 
schooL day. Can you recommend me a digitaL 
camera with high picture and video cLarity 
within the range of Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 25,000. 
P. Sai Sandeep 

a That is a good budget range and there 
are many options available. You haven't 
mentioned if you want a compact 
point-n-shoot, or a pseudo dSLR. I am 
going to give you both options. For a 
point-n-shoot, look at Panasonic's Lumix 
DMC TZ7 - this is a really compact, yet 
powerful option with a 12x optical zoom 
and a 12.7-megapixel sensor. Expect to 
pay around Rs. 18,000 for this camera, 
and Panasonic also provides a nice three 
year warranty. If you want a pseudo- 
dSLR look at Panasonic's FZ35 - priced at 
Rs. 21,000.0 



Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



119 



diSit 



E Basic rig = Rs. 21,500 

■ Multimedia cum gaming rig = Rs. 30,850 

I High-end Multimedia / Gaming rig = Rs. 48,900 

■ High-end gaming PC = Rs. 65,650 

Ultra high-end PC / Gaming rig = Rs. 1,73,700 



KILLER RIGS 

everything you will ever need to build your own PC. whatever your budget. 



PRIMARY COMPONENTS 



\ 





PROCESSOR 

c AMD Athlon II X2 240 / Rs. 2,900 

■ AMD Athlon II X4 630 / Rs. 5,050 

■ Phenom X4 945 / Rs. 7,600 

■ Intel Core 15 750 / Rs. 10,000 
Intel Core 17 960 / Rs. 31,100 




HARD DRIVE 

■ Seagate 500 GB 7200.11 / Rs. 2800 

■ Seagate 500 GB 7200.11 / Rs. 2,800 

■ Seagate 1 TB 7200.12 / Rs. 3,950 

■ Seagate 1 TB 7200.12 / Rs. 3,950 

r WD Black Edition 1 TB x2 / Rs. 11,500 





CABINET 

■ Zebronics Antibiotic / Rs. 2,100 

■ Zebronics Antibiotic / Rs. 2,100 

■ CoolerMaster 690 / Rs. 4,400 

■ CoolerMaster 690 / Rs. 4,400 

■ Antec 900 / Rs. 6,500 



GRAPHICS CARD 

■ None 

■ ZOTAC GeForce 9600GT / Rs. 4,750 

■ Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 / Rs. 6,900 

■ Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 / Rs. 17,500 

■ ZOTAC GeForce GTX 470 x 2 (SLI) / Rs. 46,000 



MOTHERBOARD 

ASUS NVIDIA 7025 M2N68-AM / 
Rs. 2,250 

■ Gigabyte MA78GM-US2H / 
Rs. 4,200 

■ ASUS M4A78-PRO / Rs. 5,850 

■ Biostar Tpower P55 / Rs. 8,500 
ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 / Rs. 20,100 




;;;ii:i..i^.«u«tes 



RAM 

2 X 1 GB DDR2 800 MHz (Kingston) / Rs. 2,000 

■ 2 X 1 GB DDR2 800 MHz (Kingston) / Rs. 2,000 

■ 2 X 2 GB DDR2 800 MHz (Corsair) / Rs. 4,000 

■ 2 X 2 GB DDR3 1333 MHz (Kingston) / Rs. 5,100 

3 X 2 GB Kingston HyperX Tl 2,000 MHz / Rs. 17500 



SOUND CARD 

None 

■ None 

■ None 

■ None 

ASUS Xonar DX / Rs. 3,700 




120 



Digit I June 2010 | www.thinl<digit.conn 



SECONDARY COMPONENTS 





POWER SUPPLY 

■ VIP 350 Watts / Rs. 850 

■ VIP 400W Gold / Rs. 850 

■ Corsair VX450 / Rs. 3,800 

■ Corsair VX450 / Rs. 3,800 

■ Corsair HX850W / Rs. 10,100 




OPTICAL DRIVE 

■ LG H55N / Rs. 1,100 

■ LG H55N / Rs. 1,100 

■ LG H55N / Rs. 1,100 

■ LG H55N / Rs. 1,100 

ASUS BC-1205PT / Rs. 11,010 




MOUSE 

■ Logitech 3 button scroll / Rs. 300 

■ Logitech 3 button scroll / Rs. 300 

■ Logitech MX518 / Rs. 1,300 

■ Logitech MX518 / Rs. 1,300 

■ Logitech G500 / Rs. 3,700 



SPEAKER 

None 

■ None 

■ Altec Lansing VS2421 / Rs. 2,200 

■ Altec Lansing VS2421 / Rs. 2,200 

■ Altec Lansing MX 5021 / Rs. 6,500 



KEYBOARD 

■ Logitech Multimedia / Rs. 400 

■ Logitech Multimedia / Rs. 400 

■ Logitech Multimedia / Rs. 500 
Logitech G15 / Rs. 4,400 



MISCELLANEOUS 



X 




TABLET 

■ None 

■ iBall Design Tablet PF1209 / Rs. 8,900 

■ Wacom Intuos4 Medium (PTK-640) Rs. 21,280 






PRINTING SOLUTIONS 

■ Canon PIXMA iP1980 / Rs. 2,695 

■ Canon iP3680 / Rs. 5,595 

■ Epson B-500DN / Rs. 22,999 



MOUSEPAD 

None 

■ Razer Goliathus Speed (Oversized) / 
Rs. 1,400 

■ Everglide Titan / Rs. 1,650 

■ Steel Series QCK Heavy / Rs. 2,000 
Razer Destructor / Rs. 2,050 



HEADPHONES 

■ None 

■ Sennheiser HD 201 / Rs. 1,500 

■ Sennheiser HD 280 Pro / Rs. 5,500 




POWER PROTECTION 

■ None 

■ APC 550W / Rs. 2,400 

■ Numeric 1 KVA / Rs. 4,200 

■ APC 1500VA / Rs. 7,500 



1- .^ 



GAMING CONTROLLERS 

■ MS Xbox 360 Controller / Rs. 1,450 

■ Logitech Momo / Rs. 5,500 

■ Logitech G25 / Rs. 17500 




Digit I June 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 



121 



Price watch 



3D Technology Awards 

With a slew of 3D movies hitting theatres, the International 3D 
Society has come up with an award ceremony for the same 



lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll 



SPEND SMART 



The latest peripheral prices 
updated every month. Go ahead, 
an your configuration today 



J 














iLJ 


Processors 




hnnn^ 


1 


3rand 


Market Price 


I Socket/Interface \ 


Brief Specs 


Tested in 


Sempron 140 


AMD 


Rs. 1,810 


AM3 


2.7 GHz / single core 


September 2009 


Athlon II X2 240 


AMD 


Rs. 3,000 


AM3 


2.8 GHz /dual core 


September 2009 


Athlon II X2 7 


45 


AMD 


Rs. 3,175 


AM3 


2.9 GHz/ dual core 


- 


Phenom II 55 





AMD 


Rs. 4,830 


AM3 


3.1 GHz/ dual core 


September 2009 


Phenom II 55 


5 BE 


AMD 


Rs. 5,250 


AM3 


3.2 GHz/ dual core 


; 


Athlon 11X3 425 


AMD 


Rs. 3,700 


AM3 


2.7 GHz/ 3 cores 


: 


Athlon II X3 ^ 


40 


AMD 


Rs. 4,600 


AM3 


3 GHz/ 3 cores 


1 


Athlon II X4 6 


30 


AMD 


Rs. 5,250 


AM3 


2.8 GHz/ 4 cores 


- 


Phenom II X3 


720 BE 


AMD 


Rs. 6,450 


AM3 


2.8 GHz/ 3 cores 


September 2009 


Phenom II X4 945 


AMD 


Rs. 7,750 


AM3 


3 GHz/ 4 cores 


September 2009 


Phenom II X4 


955 BE 


AMD 


Rs. 8,400 


AM3 

AM3 


3.2 GHz/ 4 cores 
3.4 GHz/ 4 cores 


September 2009 

September 2009 

June 2010 


Phenom II X4 


965 BE 


AMD 


Rs. 9,430 


Phenom II X6 


1090T 


AMD 


Rs. 15,999 


AMD 


3.2 GHz/ 6 cores 


Celeron 430 


Intel 


Rs. 1,890 


LGA 775 


1.8 GHz /single core 




Pentium Dua 


Core E5400 


Intel 


Rs. 2,900 


LGA 775 
LGA 775 
LGA 775 


2.6 GHz /dual core 


September 2009 


Core 2 Duo E 


7500 


Intel 


Rs. 5,150 


2.93 GHz /dual core 




Core 2 Quad 


Q8400 


Intel 


Rs. 8,100 


2.66 GHz/ 4 cores 


September 2009 


Core i7 920 


Intel 


Rs. 14,100 


LGA 1366 


2.66 GHz/ 4 cores 


September 2009 


Core i7 930 




Intel 


Rs. 14,800 


LGA 1366 
LGA 1366 
LGA 1156 


2.8 GHz/ 4 cores 


i 


Core i7 980 E 


xtreme 


Intel 


Rs. 58,000 


3.33 GHz/ 6 cores 
2.93 GHz /dual core 


April 2010 


Core i3 530 




Intel 


Rs. 5,850 


Core i5 661 


Intel 


Rs. 13,500 


LGA 1156 


3.33 GHz /dual core 


May 2010 


Core i5 750 




Intel 


Rs. 10,400 


LGA 1156 
LGA 1156 
LGA 1156 


2.66 GHz/ 4 cores 




Core i7 860 




Intel 


Rs. 14,500 


2.8 GHz/ 4 cores 


\ 


Core i7 870 




Intel 


Rs. 27,400 


2.93 GHz/ 4 cores 









Model 



Motherboards 



Get Best Deals on 



ASUS P6T Deluxe 
ASUS Rampage 2 Extreme 
ASUS Rampage 2 Gene 
Gigabyte X58 Extreme 
Gigabyte X58 UD5 
MSIX58Pro-E 
Gigabyte P55 UD6 
ASUSP5P55-D 
Gigabyte P55 UD7 
MSIP55GD65 
ECS P55-HA Black 
MSI P45 Platinum 
ASUSP5Q 
ASUS P5Q3 Deluxe 
ECS AB 890GXM-A 
Gigabyte 890GPA-UD3H 
ASUS M4A78STD-V-EVO 
ASUS M4A78T-E 
ASUS M4A79T-DELUX 
Gigabyte MA78GMT-USB3 
122 Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



Market Price Socket/Interface 



Rs. 
Rs. 
Rs. 
Rs. 
Rs. 
Rs. 
Rs. 
Rs. 
Rs. 
Rs. 
Rs. 
Rs. 
Rs. 
Rs. 
Rs. 
Rs. 
Rs. 
Rs. 
Rs. 
Rs. 



20,450 
24,500 
16,400 
21,200 
17,100 
11,300 
17,100 
9,750 
19,400 
9,100 
8,900 
9,100 
8,500 
13,500 
7,100 
7,900 
6,500 
8,800 
13,100 
5,950 



Brief Specs 

LGA 1366 2x PCIe xl6, 8-channel audio, 8 x SATA ports 

LGA 1366 2x PCIe xl6, 8-channel audio, 8 x SATA ports 

LGA 1366 2 x PCIe x8, 8 channel audio, 6x SATA ports 

LGA 1366 2 x PCIe xl6, 8 channel audio, 6x SATA ports 

LGA 1366 2 x PCIe xl6, 8 channel audio, 6x SATA ports 

LGA 1366 2 x PCIe x8, 8 channel audio, 6x SATA ports 

LGA 1156 Ix PCIe xl6, 1 x PCIe x8, 8 channel audio, 8x SATA ports 

LGA 1156 Ix PCIe xl6, 1 x PCIe x8, 8 channel audio, 6x SATA ports 

LGA 1156 Ix PCIe xl6, 3x PCIe x8, 8 channel audio, 8x SATA ports 

LGA 1156 Ix PCIe xl6, 1 x PCIe x8, 8 channel audio, 6x SATA ports 

LGA 1156 Ix PCIe xl6, 1 x PCIe x8, 8 channel audio, 6x SATA ports 

LGA 775 Ix PCIe xl6, 1 x PCIe x8, 8 channel audio, 6x SATA ports 

LGA 775 Ix PCIe xl6, 1 x PCIe x8, 8 channel audio, 6x SATA ports 

LGA 775 Ix PCIe xl6, 1 x PCIe x8, 8 channel audio, 6x SATA ports 

AM3 2 X PCIe xl6, 8-channel audio, 6x SATA ports 

AM3 2 X PCIe xl6, 8-channel audio, 8x SATA ports 

AM3 1 X PCIe xl6, 8-channel audio, 6x SATA ports 

AM3 2 X PCIe xl6, 8-channel audio, 6x SATA ports 

AM3 2 X PCIe xl6, 8-channel audio, 8x SATA ports 

AM3 ; 1 X PCIe xl6, 8-channel audio, 6x SATA ports 



Tested in 

September 2009 
September 2009 



September 2009 

September 2009 

September 2009 

October 2009 

October 2009 

June 2010 

October 2009 

April 2010 

September 2009 



September 2009 
April 2010 
April 2010 



September 2009 



High Gains 

The markets have opened up, and tech companies including Yahoo!, Apple and HCL are 
posting promising first quarter earnings, IBM is an exception with a drop in profits 



Bionic Man is here 

Russians doctors have successfully managed to implant 
a completely artificial heart into an old woman 



Price watch 



iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii 



^fy ^ Power supplies 










IN^W?^^^ 


Price 


Tested in 


Capacity 


Modular 


Cooler Master Real Power Pro 460W 


Rs. 3,705 




460W 


N 


Cooler Master extreme Power 650W 


Rs. 4,200 


; - j 


650W 


N 


Cooler Master GX 550W 
Cooler Master GX 650W 


Rs. 4,500 
Rs. 5,500 


March 2010 


550W 
650W 


N 




N 


Cooler Master GX 750W 


Rs. 6,500 


; - \ 


750W 


N 


Corsair HX 750 


Rs. 8,800 


;- ; 


750W 


Y 


Corsair HX 850 


Rs. 10,100 


January 2010 


850W 


Y 


Corsair HX 1000 


Rs. 13,500 




lOOOW 


Y 


Corsair CX400W 


Rs. 3,200 


September 2009 


400W 


N 


Cooler Master UCP llOOW 


Rs. 15,650 




llOOW 


N 


Corsair HX620W 


Rs. 7,650 


\ - \ 


620W 


Y 


Corsair TX650W 


Rs. 6,700 




650W 


N 


Corsair VX450W 


Rs. 3,950 


; - j 


450W 


N 


Corsair VX550W 


Rs. 5,700 


; - \ 


550W 


N 


FSP Blue Storm Pro 500 


Rs. 3,650 


j - j 


500W 


N 


Seasonic PS S12II-430 


Rs. 3,850 


- 


430W 


N 


Silverstone 400W 
VIP600W 


Rs. 3,100 
Rs. 2,900 




400W 
600W 


N 
N 


Zebronics Pro 600W 


Rs. 4,000 


; - i 


600W 


N 



mA 












Get Best Deals on 


V.cof?^ 


u Cabinets 




^(Wi^Hol mmammmmM 


^ Price j^ 




^.25-inch b^^ 


p^^5-inch bays Bundled fane 


...El^pansion slqtu 


Antec Nine Hundred 


Rs. 7,100 




6 


\ 3 
5 


4 

1 


7 


Antec NSK4400 


Rs. ] 


,700 
,900 


May 2008 


3 


7 


Antec Three Hundred 

Cooler Master 690 (with sidepanel) 


Rs.3 
Rs.^ 


October 2008 


3 


6 


2 


7 


,000 


- 


5 


5 


3 


7 


Cooler Master ATCS 840 


Rs. 1 


6,100 
5,000 
,100 


■ November 2009 


6 


7 


4 


7 


Cooler Master Cosmos 


Rs.l 


- 


5 


6 


1 


7 


Cooler Master Elite 100 


Rs.3 


- 


1 


1 








Cooler Master Elite 310 


Rs. 1,600 


i 


4 


7 


1 


7 


Cooler Master HAF 932 


Rs. 10,000 




6 


6 


4 


7 


iBall Baby 306 
Thermaltake Armor+ 


Rs.^ 
Rs.l 


,000 




1 


3 


2 





3,700 


\ 


7 


7 


3 


10 


ThermaltakeArmor+MX 


Rs. 7,800 


\ 


5 


5 


3 


7 


Thermaltake M9 


Rs. 4,800 




6 


3 


2 


7 



Bk 












1 y Cell Phones 


n 




Model ^^H 


Price 


Tested in 


Screen size 


Camera resolution 


Platform ^^ 


HTC Hero 


Rs. 26,500 


February 2010 


3.2-inch 


5 MP 


Android 1.5 
Windows Mobile 6.5 


HTC Touch HD 2 


Rs. 35,000 


i 


4.3-inch 


5 MP 


LG KP500 


Rs. 7,300 


June 2009 


3.0-inch 
2.4-inch 
2.36-inch 


3.15 MP 


Nokia E55 


Rs. 17,000 
Rs. 9,700 
Rs. 35,500 


November 2009 \ 
June 2009 


3.2 MP 
2 MP 


Symbian S60 

Symbian S60 

iPhoneOS 


Nokia E63 


Apple iPhone3G 16 GB 


3.5-inch 


2.0 MP 


Nokia E72 


Rs. 19,500 
Rs. 31,000 
Rs. 9,000 


August 2009 


2.36-inch 


5 MP 


Symbian S60 
Symbian S60 


Nokia N97 

Nokia XpressMusic 5330 
Nokia XpressMusic 5800 
Samsung Omnia HD 18910 


3.5-inch 


5 MP 


2.4-inch 


3.15 MP 


Rs. 13,500 




3.2-inch 


3.15 MP 


- 


Rs. 29,500 
Rs. 30,000 
Rs. 12,800 
Rs. 26,500 


December 2009 
March 2010 

February 2010 
June 2009 


3.7-inch 
3.5-inch 


8 MP 
12MP 


Symbian S60 
Symbian S60 


Sony Ericsson Satio 


Sony Ericsson Yari 


2.4-inch 


5 MP 


- 


Blackberry Bold 9000 


2.4-inch 


2 MP 


Blackberry OS 










Digit 1 June 


2010 1 www.thinkdigit.com ] 



123 



Consumer mate 



LCD Writing tablet 

Boogie Board LCD writing tablet is a tree- 
friendLy alternative to paper notepads. A 
pusii of a button erases tine written stuff 



Wii2HDMI 

Wii2HDMI claims to convert tlie Nintendo 
Wii's output to an HDIMI connection in a 
compact adapter 



An alert consumer is a 'king' consumer 



Shauvik Kumar 

readersletters@thinkdigit. com 

Kautilya was one of the ear- 
liest to discuss in his famous 
book "Arthashastra" about 
the call for consumer con- 
sciousness and safeguards. Although 
in Kautilya's Arthashastra, stringent 
rules were placed for the trade and 
industry and punishments for exploi- 
tation were set out. But, there was no 
organized and systematic mechanism 
safeguarding the interests of the con- 
sumers in India until the Consumer Act 
was enacted to ease out the tensions of 
the consumer. Consumer is said to be 
the king but really speaking it's only 
the smart and informed consumer who 
is king". With the growth of private 
sector, changing business ethics and 
marketing strategies there is a greater 
need for a consumer to be informed to 
invoke his rights. 

It's been more that two decade since 
the Consumer Act has been enacted 
but still it has not been able to make 
the desired impact. The big companies 
make mockery of it time and again 
taking advantage of ill informed 
consumer and ill equipped legal 
system. Not only the sound functioning 
of product but consumer must be 
aware of the price, sale and purchase 
conditions of goods and the health and 
security aspects also. There are many 
goods which are sold in the market 
without much information about their 
quality, quantity, storage conditions 
and safety features. Manufacturers or 
producers and retailers seldom follow 
the safety regulations in the products 
like, lamps, batteries, footwear, 
electrical equipments, wires, cement, 
LPG cylinders, stoves, switches, plugs, 
sockets etc. leading to many fatal 
accidents or health implications. 

The Consumer Protection Act, 
which has been defined as "the Magna 
Carta of Consumers", spells out six 
consumer rights: Right to Safety, Right 
to Information, Right to Choice, Right to 



Representation, Right to Redress, and 
Right to Consumer Education. India 
has the biggest consumer movement 
today due to the efforts of consumer 
organizations and the establishment of 
consumer courts. In the age of internet 
it's not very difficult to be informed. 
And yes, to be informed means not only 
when duped but before purchasing the 
product for which you are spending 
your hard earned money. 

Consumers have the societal 
accountability of exposing the 
manufacture, supplier or the service 
provider for resorting to illegal trade 
malpractices. Unethical notings 
like "Goods once sold will never be 
taken back" are in sharp contrast to 
the practice in some of the developed 
countries, where the sellers declare, 
"In case you are not fully satisfied 
with our product, you can bring 
the same to us within a month for 
either replacement or return of your 
money." Why the buyer be beware 
and why not the seller? This is the 
result of consumer consciousness. 
Consumers have to appreciate their 
role and significance. The consumer 
movements can be winner movements 
only with our active participation by 
knowing our rights and enforcing 
them. It requires a voluntary effort 
involving the participation of one 
and all. If consumers remain passive, 
they will keep on to be exploited. It is 
necessary that consumers take action 
with unity to get a fair deal and timely 
redressal. An alert consumer is a 'king' 
consumer.n 



Expert buying advice 

Visit Consumermate.com 
for expert buying advice and 
comprehensive information on 
Laptops, JVIobiles, TVs, Cameras 
and Camcorders 



CQMPLAINTS RECEIVEQ. 



Case File #67 

Acer Aspire 4736Z Touch Pad not 
working 

I have purchased an Acer Aspire 
4736Z connputer in Januray 2010. Once 
earlier the Laptop was sent to them 
with subject complaint in February 
2010. The Laptop is again giving same 
problem. Can I ask for the replacement 
of the laptop. Is it legally covered that 
product giving such recurrent problem 
may get replacement. Please guide me. 
Thanks. Pijush Kanti 



Answer by Consumermate: 

Dear Piyush, 

In the first instance, you cannot insist 
for the replacement of your laptop 
itself, but definitely for the specific part 
causing the problem. However, if the 
problem persists, you can ask for a 
replacement. We would suggest you to 
keep a written track record of all your 
complaints, services done and parts 
replaced. 

Case File #74 

Acer laptops-Poor Service 
Question: 

I had purchased an Acer laptop 3 
years back. After 6 months, I was 
unable to see the screen properly. The 
screen used to be white and I had to 
restart the PC. Recently, I had given 
it to Reliable Computers in Vile Parle, 
Mumbai. They said there was a problem 
with the IC, and charged me Rs. 5,500 
for replacing the IC with a new one. 
It was fine for about three days, after 
which the problem resumed. I spoke to 
them over the phone. They wanted to 
take my laptop again, but I refused as 
I don't trust them anymore. I wanted 
them to repair in front of me which they 
refused. I need a resolution for this as 
I feel they have cheated me. I want 
strict action to be taken against them. 
Please help. 
Nancy Samuel 



124 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tliinkdigit.conn 



Free WiFi in NYC 

AT&T has announced the Launch 
of its outdoor WiFi for subscribers 
in New York City 



Jhi^contarit is tfou0it to you by 

FconsumBr mnhB"" 



If youVe facing a problem with 
your purctiase, write to us at 
lwielp@consumermate.com 



Answer by Consumermate: 
Dear Nancy, 

You have not nnade clear whether you have a bill for their 
services. If yes, you can take thenn to the Consumer Forum. 
If not, get it repaired at the authorised company service 
centre, get a service report and procure parts replaced if any, 
thereafter if the service report reiterates the problem due to 
same component you got changed from the earlier center, 
then you can go ahead with your complaint in the Consumer 
Forum with a strong stand. 

Case File #103 

Faulty Charger Mobile Micromax model X114 
Question: 

Mobile Micromax model X114, i purchsed it when i was 
travelling to bangalore, after reaching chennai I found 
battery is not charging as the connector is loose, i could not 
find the service network in Chennai / Tamilnadu, all the tel 
nos and address given are not traceable, kindly help me. 
S. Periyandavar 

Answer by Consumermate: 

You can try contacting RT Outsourcing Services Limited, 403, 
B- Block, Shivalaya Building, Commander-in-chief Road, 
Chennai, Tel. +91-44-4558 2582 / 83. Alternatively, if you 
still can't access the concerned people, please drop an email 
using their contact us form at http://www.micromaxinfo. 
com/contact_us.html. Please approach the manufacturer 
for the rectification of the defect as per warranty terms 
of the handset. Any failure of the manufacturer to provide 
you warranty support as per the warranty terms may be 
challenged by approaching the appropriate district consumer 
forum. If it still doesnt work, mail back, and we will help you. 

Case File #117 

GSM SIM not working in Spice D 6666 

I purchased a Spice D 6666 dual SIM moble on 22/11/2009. 

On 09/04/2010, 1 found it doesn't detect one GSM SIM. I 

approached service centre for this. However, the fault has not 

been rectified. Now they have given me a replacement which 

is defective. I want a new replacement. 

Tapan Chandra Sahu 

Answer by Consumermate: 

You need to ensure you have an IMEI no. which is indicated 
on your bill. You should ask for a certificate from the centre 
if they are giving you a mobile with different IMEI. Secondly, 
write a registered letter to the company referring to all your 
earlier letters and call upon them to rectify all the problems 
in your handset, failing which you can file a consumer 
complaint in the district forum. 



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125 



Tech@work 



130 



NetBeans IDE 

The most popular Java framework 
explained. Try your hand at it 



134 



On a roll with openware 

A first hand account of FOSS in corporate 
cost cutting measures 



Create 

Industry representatives speak to us on 
the future, technology and their concern 
for the environment 



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Bruce KLafter, Senior. Director, 
EnvironmentaL, Health and Safety (EHS) 
for Applied IMaterials, Inc. in Santa Clara, 
California 



What's your company's stand on 
going green? How high on your 
agenda is it? 

We're committed to complying with or 
exceeding all relevant regulatory require- 
ments, to preventing pollution and to con- 
tinuously improving the environmental, 
health and safety performance of our 
operations, processes and products. 

Does your company use renewable 
power? 

We use renewable power. In 2008, we 
completed the installation of a 2 MW SPV 
tracker and rooftop system at our Maydan 
Technology Centre in Sunnyvale, Cali- 
fornia. This was one of the largest oper- 
ating solar arrays at a corporate campus 
and the largest in Northern California. 

What are the most significant 
changes your company has made 
over the past year to go green? What 
are your future plans in the same 
direction? 

Applied Materials is committed to reduce 
its carbon footprint by 50,000 tons by 
2012. Green IT is embedded in those 



plans and that led the company's 
global information services division 
(CIS) to launch GreenIS or Operation 
Green. This program is designed to 
reduce its carbon footprint by 10,000 
tons (or 20 per cent of the corporate 
goal). CIS' team at Applied estimates 
it has saved 8876 tonnes of C02 since 
Q4'07 

Do you comply to green certifica- 
tions such as IS014000? 

We have well developed environ- 
mental and safety management 
systems that are employed company- 
wide. We have registered that system 
at a number of key locations, prima- 
rily manufacturing locations where 
our customers have benefited from 
the rigour of certification. 

What were your 2009-2010 
spends towards this, and is the 
allocated 2010-2011 budget higher 
or lower? 

During the global economic meltdown 
IT at Applied Materials shifted from a 
spending mode to a sustenance mode. 
We are delivering new projects, new 
capabilities and new processes. As far as 
2010-2011 is concerned our investments 
are likely to grow again. 



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Do you have any special drives to 
encourage your customers to go 
green and recycle your products? 

Capital equipment is expensive to begin 
with, so there is a robust secondary mar- 
ket for used equipment in the markets 
we serve and there is no waste problem 
equivalent to the one confronted by 
consumer product companies. Applied 
Materials' Global Services group has its 
own refurbishment business. 

What changes have you made in 
your products as part of your green 
initiative? 

Our eco-efficient products - crystalline 
silicon, thin film, and flexible photovoltaic 
(PV) solar solutions - serve to promote 
energy sustainability and reduce 
pollution. In India, we donated equip- 
ment to the Indian Institute of Tech- 
nology to promote better understanding 
of nanofabrication methods. 

Innovate 

Excerpts of our interaction with 
Kensalcu Konishi, President & 
CEO Canon India 

What's your company's stand on 
going green? How high on your 
agenda is it? 

In order to adopt green printing, com- 
panies are designing solutions which 




126 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tliinkdigit.conn 








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Industry connect 



Green AMD 

To read more on green initiatives by AIVID and other 
IT companies, read the April 2010 issue of Digit 



Thinner Solar Panels 

Oregon State University have unveiled nanostructure solar films, that 
will considerably reduce material waste and cost of solar panels 



can identify whether a user needs 
a color printer. The solution allots 
printers accordingly. They are also 
adopting duplex printing in a big way. 
Duplex printing move has results in 
savings of tones of paper per year and 
also in monetary terms per annum. 

Does your company use renewable 
power? 

Yes, Canon contributes to minimizing 
environmental burden through the 
effective application of environmental 
technologies. We encourage inverse 
manufacturing (IM), in which used 
products collected from customers are 
disassembled and sorted and their parts 
reused. The manufacturing process for 
toner used in copying machines and 
printers can generate toner with non- 
standard particle sizes which, depending 
on the type of toner, does not permit its 
reuse as toner, resulting in waste toner. 

What are the most significant 
changes your company has made 
over the past year to go green? 
What are your future plans in the 
same direction? 

Canon significantly focused on newer 
technology which was on the lines 
of green initiatives in 2009. Canon 
develops environmental-friendly prod- 
ucts at all stages in the product lifecycle. 

Canon printers come bundled with 
added features that reduce the OPEX. 
We have recently launched fresh range 
of printers that incurs less operational 
expenses and guarantees quick ROI. 
Laser printers from Canon in India offer 
a feature that ensures instant warm 
up time. This helps the printer to print 
directly from stand-by mode, thereby 
saving a good amount of energy every 
time one prints from stand-by mode. 

Do you comply with green certifica- 
tions such as IS014000? 

Canon takes pride in not only bringing 
quality products to the market; but 
also contributes to minimizing envi- 
ronmental burden through effective 
application of environmental technolo- 
gies. Canon has ensured compliance 
with all environmental standards from 



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time to time. Canon is certified with 
ISO 9001, to ISO 14001 and OHSAS 
18001. In 2006, the company was 
certified for its "Strong commitment 
to excel" at the CII-EXIM Business 
Excellence Award. Over the last 12 
years of its India growth story. Canon's 
comprehensive range of the latest 
digital imaging products supported by 
a trained sales force across the country 
has emerged as its key differentiator. 

Is it cheaper or more expensive (in 
the long run) for a company of your 
size to go green? 

At Canon, our focus is not just to reduce 
the cost of production, while we support 
renewable power resources. Canon 
ensures that we adhere to our principles 
and practice the purchase of environ- 
mentally conscious parts and materials 
that make Canon's products friendly 
to the environment. It also means to 
improve the environmental awareness 
of all the employees and enlarge the 
green products market by purchasing 
office supplies based on the green 
certification system. The cost of setting 
up such machines is definitely high, but 
later it helps in reducing the OPEX 

Do you have any special drives to 
encourage your customers to go 
green and recycle your products? 

At Canon adopting green practices has 
become a business imperative and is 
not a passing trend. Green printing 
offers printing service that does not 
harm our planet. Green printing in itself 



is a revolution which has grown with 
technology and has now become the best 
solution. The consumers are also getting 
conscious of the environmental threat 
which has lead to increasing consump- 
tion of green products. However with 
printers this trend is catching up slowly. 
Our printers are bundled with the fol- 
lowing features which make our printers 
green and our drives are also designed to 
generate awareness about these features: 

The use of green inks makes an easier 
and healthier method of disposing the 
inks without harming the environment. 

Since all the printing facili- 
ties require power to run, the green 
printing facilities considers the 
environment when searching for a 
power source. This allows others to 
invest in renewable energy methods 
reducing impact on the environment. 

What changes have you made in 
your products as part of your green 
initiative? 

Almost all Canon products have 
Generation Green characteristics like: 
The four in one, two in one printing 
technology which allows users to place 
multiple pages on 1 page, saving up to 
75% of your paper supply. Ink Saver 
Mode - This feature allows you to use 
less ink when printing in order to make 
your ink supply last longer and reduce 
the number of wasted ink cartridges. 
Then there are Energy Star qualified 
products that are 25% more efficient 
than conventional models. These 
products not only use less energy but 
also reduce greenhouse gas emissions 
and saves energy as well as money. 
Another technology is RoHS Compli- 
ance which is a directive from the 
European Union that restricts the use of 
hazardous materials found in electronic 
products. This restricts the use of 
cadmium, mercury, lead, hexavalent 
chromium, Polybrominated Biphenyls 
(PBB) and Polybrominated Diphenyl 
Ethers (PBDE). And we also use recycled 
plastics that are used in the power 
supply casing. Apart from this, many 
printers come with 'zero warm-up 
software, which helps in saving the 
power consumption. 



128 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.com 



Samsung Rugby II 

AT&T has announced Samsung's Rugby II rugged phone 
which will feature a 2 MP camera, A-GPS, voice guided 
navigation via AT&T's Navigator 



Wearable computer concept 

Sony Nextep Computer concept is a bracelet shaped computer with an 
OLED touchscreen display, holographic projector and a pull out keyboard 



Industry connect 



Grow 



Rohit Sharma, CEO, Zapak 
Digital Entertainment on their 
acquisition of Codemasters 

What does this acquisition mean for 
Zapak and its future? 

If you look at the Western markets, by 
and the large, the console market is the 
bigger space. So this (acquisition) helps 
us get a global footprint, in partnership 
with one of the largest gaming compa- 
nies, which has development and distri- 
bution capabilities all across the world. 

Why Codemasters specifically? 

One reason is they have very strong 
capabilities in cricket games, which is 
something we can take online and to 
the mobile space, globally. They also 
have a very strong IP in racing, as well 
as the Formula 1 franchise, which is a 



great franchise to have. They are strong 
company, with revenues of $150 million, 
and are growing well. They also have the 
right DMA [Designated Market Area] 
and a good development team. All these 
factors helped us take the call. 

So, are there lots of cricket games 
in the pipeline? Anything IPL 
related? 

As for IPL-related games, I cannot com- 
ment, but yes, definitely lots of cricket 
games. 

Does Zapak now have any plans to 
make console games as well? 

Sooner or later, we will use Codemas- 
ters' development skills to bring online 
games to India, creating a lot of browser 
based games and so on. Codemasters 
will continue to make console games for 
the European and American markets, 
and if we get the right IP and the right 
idea, we will also make them for the 
Indian market. Right now we will use 



their skills and IPs for the Indian market 
in whatever form they are. 

Any plans to create an Indian 
MMOG? 

Yes, why not? They have a very strong 
online team, and we have been wanting 
to create intellectual property in the 
MMOG field, because we think that is 
where the value will be these days. 

Is this acquisition a two-way 
street in terms of technology? Will 
Codemasters also benefit from 
Zapak's expertise? 

Yes, it is. Codemasters have a strong IP 
which they have not leveraged in the 
mobile space, and with our company 
called Jump Games, we are very strong in 
that area. So we can use their IP to 
develop and distribute mobile games 
globally. And again with our core 
understanding of the online business, I 
think there is tremendous opportunity to 
work together in creating online games. 



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129 



Developer Corner 



NetBeans IDE 

The NetBeans IDE can be found in 
the May 2010 PLayware DVD 



Java on phone? 

If you want to access Java based content 
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You can't ignore NetBeans as a web development 
platform, especially with the profound rise of Java 
as the preferred medium 



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One major charac- 
teristic that sets 
NetBeans apart 
from other IDEs 
is its modular structure, each 
and every of its function has a 
different module allotted to it, 
for example CVS versioning 
system has a module for its 
own and SVN has a different 
module for itself. Modularity 
makes NetBeans extremely | ^ \TBmm\MH *• 
scalable, you can add or 
remove modules for different 
functionality very easily 
thereby making the IDE very 
versatile, like additional modules can be 
installed for support for languages that 
are not included in basic installation. You 
can use pre-existing modules, thereby 
giving you a head start in your work. 

Editor 

NetBean's editor is much powerful than 
the basic text editors. It matches words 
and brackets, indents lines and high- 
lights code semantically and syntacti- 
cally. It parses code as you type. This 
enables it to instantly identify errors and 
highlight occurrences. Editor glyphs 
and tooltips unobtrusively display quick 
fixes, warnings, compiler hints and 
language documentation. It allows you to 
restructure code without breaking it. For 
example, if you move a class to another 
package or rename a variable, IDE 
automatically identifies it and updates 
all occurrences immediately. It also 
has the smart code completion feature 
(pretty common in today's editors) which 
provides automatic code completion 
for several languages including Java, C/ 
C++, Ruby PHP, XML, Groovy HTML, 
JSP, RHTML, JavaScript and Javadoc. 
It lists possible completions, on the 



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The NetBeans IDE interface 



fly, while you type, with most obvious 
choices at the top. Typing the first let- 
ters of a CamelCase word triggers code 
completion. You can also navigate to 
any file, type, or symbol with one quick 
keyboard shortcut, and jump directly to 
a declaration with a single click. In the 
Go To dialogs you can type in file or type 
names using camel case and wild cards, 
and do a case sensitive search over all 
open projects. The editor also generates 
common code snippets for you in Java 
or other languages. A dialog is pro- 
vided to give you complete control over 
which methods are created and which 
class attributes they access. The IDE 
assists you when overriding methods 
and generating dynamic code blocks 




such as loops, try-catch-blocks, Javadoc 
comments, and accessors. You can even 
remove trailing whitespace from lines 
automatically. Editor also has a navi- 
gator tool to navigate within files fast. 
The error stripe gives you an immediate 
overview of all highlighted lines in a file: 
With a single click, you jump to errors, 
hints, annotations, or search results. 
You can also inspect the members and 
hierarchy of any Java class in a conven- 
ient popup window that displays base 
classes, derived classes, and interfaces, 
the information detail for which can be 
set using filters. The editor's interface is 
also fully configurable: each window can 
be individually positioned and slit verti- 
cally or horizontally. You can set custom 
keyboard shortcuts or click configurable 
toolbar icons for almost all the tools 
available. Finally editor enables you to 
view a file's local history: to view recent 
modifications and revert changes, even 
if the files is not handles by a version 
control system. 

Database Support 

The basic installation of NetBeans 
includes drivers for the MySQL and 
PostgreSQL database servers. It can 
also register with any other JDBC 
driver, so you can hook up just about 
any other database that provides JDBC 
drivers. With MySQL, NetBeans makes 
it extremely simple. It auto-detects 
existing MySQL databases. You can 
register a MySQL Server and start/ 
stop local servers directly from the IDE. 
You can use the Database Explorer to 
connect to, browse, create, edit or delete 
databases. You can also register external 
administration tools like phpMy Admin 
and invoke them directly from the IDE. 
NetBeans also incorporates a SQL editor 
whose code completion feature lets you 
insert schema, table and column names 
more quickly. It also lets you browse 
the history of all SQL statements, filter 
by search terms and/or by connection 
URLs, and then insert the selected 
statement. You can sort query results in 
the SQL Editor and load large returned 
data sets page by page. You can directly 
change values of returned results and 
insert or delete rows. Using the Visual 



130 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.com 



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NetBeans 6.9 

The new NetBeans release has 
a JavaFX composer for easiy 
development of JavaFX GUI software 



Developer Corner 



JSF web framework, you can drag 
database tables from the Database 
Explorer directly onto components in 
the design view of your application, 
and the component is automatically 
bound to the table. This significantly 
improves productivity for building 
database-oriented web applications. 
When creating a Java Swing project 
or JSF-based CRUD (Create-Read- 
Update-Delete) web applications, you 
can jump-start your work by using the 
database application wizard, which lets 
you select tables from a connection in the 
Database Explorer and then automati- 
cally generate a basic CRUD application 
for those tables. You can also quickly 
generate JPA entity classes from existing 
databases. From these entity classes you 
can generate JSF pages, RESTful web 
services, and other useful code artifacts 
that integrate data into your applications. 

Build Tools 

You can take control of code right where 
it is by the following tools: 
Standards-Based Project System 

The NetBeans IDE uses industry-stand- 
ards build technologies, this means you 
can build and run your projects outside 
the IDE exactly the same as inside the 
IDE. You can import Eclipse and JBuilder 
projects. Imported Eclipse projects stay 
synchronised with their original when 
you modify them in Eclipse. 

Java projects use the non-proprietary 
Apache Ant 1.7.1 by default, and can be 
configured to use Maven. C and C++ 
projects use make, and Ruby projects 
use rake. 

Hudson Continuous Build Server 

The NetBeans IDE supports Hudson 
continuous build servers for Maven 
and (Ant-based) Java SE project types; 
the project files can be versioned using 
Subversion or Mercurial. You can use the 
Services window to add a Hudson server; 
in a Maven project, configure your pom. 
xml file to point to the Hudson server 
and NetBeans connects automatically. 
Right-click a Hudson Builder node in 
the Services window, or create a new job 
using the Team menu, to start contin- 
uous build jobs. 



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Database view 



Hudson Status Reports 

You can browse your hosted jobs, builds, 
workspaces, and artifacts, and inspect 
the build console in the IDE's output 
window. You get notificied immediately 
in the IDE's status bar, every time a 
build fails. To find out why a job failed, 
right-click a build node and inspect 
stack traces for all failed tests. You can 
also view the changelog and browse file 
diffs in a user-friendly way, right inside 
the IDE. 

Apache Maven Projects 

The NetBeans IDE supports Apache 
Maven, a software project tool to 
manage a project's dependencies, build, 
reporting and documentation. You can 
open, build, run, profile and deploy 
existing Maven projects, or create new 
ones based on Maven Archetypes. You 
can use the context menu to quickly 
update the ROMs of projects hosted on 
Kenai.com. Use the Maven integration 
for Java SE, web applications. Groovy 



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and Scala projects, Java EE 6 and 
EJB projects, including full support 
for JAX-WS Web Services. It's now 
easier to register an application server 
for Java EE projects, and select web 
frameworks such as Spring or Struts. 
You can configure with which JDK 
the Maven build will be executed. 
Use the Maven Checkstyle plugin to 
bootstrap code formatting rules in the 
Project properties. The editor supports 
Compile On Save / Deploy on Save and 
includes a new Quick Fix hint that helps 
you identify artifacts in repositories that 
contain unknown classes or interfaces. 

Apache Maven POM Editor: 

When running, testing, or debugging, 
the IDE executes Maven goals from your 
pom.xml file, or you can remap custom 
Maven goals to IDE actions. Benefit 
from code completion, code templates, 
documentation popups, code generators, 
and hyperlinking, when modifying your 
pom.xml, settings.xml, or profiles.xml 
files in the XML editor. 

Apache Maven Library Dependency 
Management: 

View library dependencies, runtime 
dependencies, and test library dependen- 
cies: The listing distinguishes transitive 
versus direct dependencies, and marks 
the local availability of javadoc and 
sources. The Maven Repository Browser 
displays the contents of the central, 
the local, and the NetBeans repository. 
You can add your own repositories, 
search for artifacts, and add artifacts as 
dependencies to projects. Use the menu 
actions to download all library sources; 
install artifacts, sources or javadocs; 
remove direct dependencies, and exclude 
transitive dependencies. If meta-info is 
available, you can navigate to the library 
home page. 

Apache Maven Library Dependency 
Graph: 

NetBeans IDE contains the Artifact 
Details Viewer which shows artifact 
info, artifact project info, a list of direct 
dependencies, and a graph of transitive 
dependencies. The Library Dependency 
Graph is a great tool that identifies and 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.com 



131 



Developer Corner 



James Gosling 

James GosLing came up with Java, while worl<ing for Sun, 
which was brought over by Oracle. He stiLL develops the 
NetBeans IDE 



jMonkeyEngine 

Looking for a Java environment with 
advanced graphics support? jMoney is your 
answer 



fixes version conflicts. You can add 
proper dependency exclusions to the 
project pom.xml using the Exclude 
context-menu on an artifact. 

Swing GUI Builder 

You can create professional looking 
GUIs by dragging and positioning 
GUI components from a palate onto a 
canvas. The builder automatically takes 
care of the correct spacing and align- 
ment. Click into JLabels, JTrees, JText- 
Fields, JButtons, ComboBoxes, Button- 
Groups to edit their properties directly 
in place. This is much easier than the 
tedious process of creating your own 
visual Java editor from scratch. 

With NetBeans you can choose 
whether the GUI code should be gener- 
ated with fully qualified or simple class 
names. The helpbar displays context- 
sensitive hints about what can be done 
with the selected component and sug- 
gests shortcuts that can speeds up your 
work considerably. The NetBeans IDE 
also comes with built-in support for GUI 
localization and accessibility. 

Profiler 

A profiler's job is to assist in optimiza- 
tion and tweaking of your application 
for increased efficiency, and NetBean's 
Profiler does that, and does it right. You 
can have task based profiling where you 
can select from several common pro- 
filing tasks, such as standard memory 
or CPU profiling, or simple monitoring. 
The options have been preset to default 
values but you can customize settings for 
a specific application. You precisely con- 
trol the amount of overhead the profiler 
imposes, and therefore analyse the appli- 
cation while it runs at almost full speed. 
You can store analysis data for 
offline processing: Save and 
export snapshots of collected 
results as CSV, HTML, or 
XML files. 

You can use NetBean's 
Heap Walker to evaluate Java 
heap contents and to identify 
unnecessary references that 
cause memory leaks. You can 
browse classes and instances 
of classes on the heap, fields 



Q MavenCalculator; 1 ,0-5MAPSHOT SS |_ 



Basic Project Classpath j Graph ] i^ ^, F 



^ Pabh;!" 




Database view 




of each instance or class, and references 
to each instance. You can also use jHat 
compatible OQL queries to analyse the 
contents of a heapdump. 

For more precise control of the col- 
lection of profiling results, you can place 
profiling points in your source code 
(works similar to debugger breakpoints). 
You can then use these points to auto- 
matically trigger actions when certain 
conditions are met, such as execution of 
a line of code, time elapsed, or memory 
used. Profiling points can trigger heap 
dumps, the resetting of results collected, 
the running of a load generator script, 
and the taking of a results snapshot. 

The NetBeans profiler can be set up to 
report only on particular methods or the 
entire application. A graph categorizes 
where CPU time has been spent. Clicking 
on the graph sections drills down from 
high-level categories to more detailed 
profiling information. You can profile 
an entire application, or a subset, under 
a realistic workload. This way you can 
identify the CPU bottlenecks in your 
application. 

Profiler's Thread Timeline 
displays the current and past 
status of all threads in an 
application. Thread Details 
give you detailed information 
about one or more selected 
threads, including a list of all 
state changes in the thread life. 

NetBean's Profiler also 
supports remote profiling, 
where the profiler can profile 



an application that is running on a 
different system than your NetBeans 
IDE. The profiler's remote pack can be 
installed on a remote system, allowing 
you to profile an application that is 
started on that system. 

Debugger 

The modular structure of NetBeans 
enables easy plugin development, and 
sure enough there are hundreds of plu- 
gins available online. I am listing here 
some of the plugins which increased by 
work efficiency and general made my 
life easier. 

iReport: is a visual report 
designer for JasperReports. You can 
manage charts, images, sub reports 
and crosstabs. Data can be retrieved 
using JDBC, Table Models, JavaBeans, 
XML, Hibernate, CSV...It supports 
PDF,RTF,XML,XLS,CSV,HTM. 

JVi: is a vi/vim editor clone. A must 
for vim lovers. Increases efficiency con- 
siderable if you have used vim before. 

Visual Web Page Layouts: It installs 
sets of predefined Page Layouts based 
on Project Woodstock Components and 
their resources. Page authors can create 
initial pages for their Visual Web JSF 
Application using these page layouts. 
Currently NetBeans Visual Web applica- 
tion lack any page layout presets. 

OpenSwing: is an open-source suite 
of advanced graphics components based 
on Swing toolkit that can be manipu- 
lated directly inside the UI designer of 
NetBeans. It is also a framework that pro- 
vides data binding mechanism between 
components and data model, based on the 
MVC paradigm. Data model is based on 
Java Beans (POJOs) and it is supported in 
all OpenSwing components, such as Grid 
control or components container. 

JDateChooser: DateChooser is a 
JavaBeans library for date selection. It 
contains 3 datepicker components: the 
panel, combo editor and a dialog window. 
You can use then directly in your GUI to 
select a single or a range of dates. 

All of these plugins can be down- 
loaded from http://plugins.netbeans.org. As 
a thumb rule most of them work with 
NetBeans V6 or higher and the latest 
Java SDK. H 



132 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.com 





CREATING A TWITTER SEARCH 
WIDGET WITH CATALYST 



WHAT ARE FLEX AND CATALYST? 

Most of you will certainly be aware of Flash, and must have certainly viewed a Flash-based 
website at some point; however you might be less aware of Flex. The Flex SDK allows those 
familiar with ActionScript - the scripting language used in Flash - to write applications 
which run on the web or on the desktop using AIR. Flash Catalyst allows you to create 
interfaces for Adobe Flex applications. In this short tutorial, we look at one of the steps to create a Twitter 
widget using Flash Catalyst. First, design the interface using Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. 

Using Flash Catalyst CSS 

Launch Flash Catalyst CSS and load the design 
you just created. You will see that Catalyst 
retains all the details. Now one by one, you 
will have to tell Catalyst what is the function of 
each part of your application. In our example, 
we have a search box at the bottom, and search 
button next to it. So we select the area we want 
to designate as a search box and in the floating 
dialog with "Convert Artwork to Component", 
we click on "Choose Component" and select 
"Text Input". What we use this text input for 
and how we use it is something we will define 
later in our application in Flash Builder. 

Now we select the search button and in 
dialog with "Convert Artwork to Component" 
we set this one to "Button". If you want, you 
can now double click the button to further 







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define how the button will behave 
on hover and selection. We went 
ahead and added a blue glow to the 
magnifying glass in the hover state. 
Now we must do something 
about our scrollbar. We select all 
the components of the scrollbar 
and convert it to a "Vertical 
Scrollbar" component. Now the 
vertical scrollbar is a complicated 
component, with multiple sub- 
components. So we will need to 
click on "Edit Parts" and define each element of the scrollbar. The scrollbar needs at least two parts to 
work: the scroll track, which is the long vertical area along which the scrolling takes place, and the thumb, 
which is the part of the scrollbar which moves. If you want, you can also specify an up button and a down 
button, as we have done. You need now worry about the implementation details, all of which will be 
handled automatically. 

Next we come to the list of tweets. Select the vertical scrollbar, the border around the tweets and the 
single design of the tween and convert them to a "Data List" component. Now, the data list component only 
needs one part defined in it, which is a sample item that will make up the list. We select our tweet and set 
it as a "Repeated Item". We again have the opportunity to select what this list item looks like. 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.com 



133 



Feature 



Crack the code 

By what name was Wikipedia 
started? 



Tech cos hiring 

Get your resumes ready this June 
and JuLy because aLL the major 
Tech companies are in hiring mode 



Women criticised more 

A study conducted by TeamLease shows that 66% 
of the urban office worl< force feeL that women are 
criticised more than men for their dress sense 



15 




On a roll with openware 

A do-it-yourself open source framework from an IT manager 
who's been there, done that — successfully 



Md. Jawed Ahmed 

readersletters@thinkdigit. com 

One has seen that the use of 
Open Source apphcations 
in large enterprises has 
been increasing over the 
years. But there is a marked divide on 
the kind of organisations that ven- 
ture into open source area. Mostly, the 
adopters are the educational institutes 



and the R&D organisations. Commer- 
cial enterprises still give open source a 
wide berth. And the reasons are clear: 
enterprises still continue to face chal- 
lenges in using open source applications. 

• Lack of support: No commitments 
are possible since support is usually 
on a best-effort basis, and that too by 

a set of invisible virtual people. 

• Lackof a single point of respon- 
sibility: Since it's not purchased. 



there is no commercial contract or 
a transfer of risk to the vendor. 
• Lack of continuity: Open source 
initiatives are usually driven by inno- 
vative individuals in the IT depart- 
ment. When they leave, they take 
their expertise with them leaving the 
organisations at a disadvantage. 

However, despite these factors, 
it's still possible to use Open Source 
applications successfully if enterprises 



134 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.conn 



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6 Name the Indian mathematician 
who first described binary 



Indian Cos retain better 

Indian companies are very good at retaining employees for 
Long periods of time, acceding to a new study. Employees in 
the IT sector can expect hefty increments this year 



Feature 



and IT managers use a framework 
approach to select applications. 

We, at Sterlite, have been using Open 
Source applications quite extensively for 
the past three years. At present, our file 
servers, Internet acceleration servers, 
security firewalls, mail servers, document 
management systems, project manage- 
ment systems, storage servers, and 
desktop-level backup applications run on 
open source. Here, we are not talking of a 
single location, but multiple, large manu- 
facturing locations on multiple servers. 

And, we are not running them because 
they are free. That's a misconception 
that many people have. The TCO might 
be less but it's certainly not free. The 
kind of uptime and performance that we 
get is, if not better, definitely as good as 
provided by the commercial applications. 

When you run a search, for any 
single requirement, one will come up 
with many applications. Logically, as the 
next step we test them out in a develop- 
ment environment and check out the 
different features and their technical 
fitment with the existing architecture. 
And then in the end, we subject the 
application to the 'enterprise litmus test 
for open source.' This is the clincher that 



helps us take the final "go" or "no-go" 
decision, particularly because unlike 
commercial applications one doesn't have 
a support agreement to seek help from 
the vendor. So it makes sense to check 
that the application ecosystem is sound 
before you commit your enterprise to it. 

• Development activity: As part of 
this criterion, one needs to check how 
frequently updates have been coming 
and what the open bugs or feature 
requests are. Very frequent updates or 
very few updates are both problematic. 
Frequent updates point to an unstable 
system that requires frequent tweaking 
whereas delayed updates point to a dead 
or dying development cycle. The sweet 
spot, from our experience, is around 
two to three updates every year. 

• Development roadmap: Try to find 
out the roadmap as envisaged by the 
developers. There should be a plan for at 
least 18 months ahead. Lack of a clearly 
defined roadmap normally points to 

an impulsive application lifecycle. For 
some applications which are not very 
critical and are small this can do. But 
generally when you are planning to 
deploy an application in an enterprise, 
there has to be a clear enough roadmap. 




Identify the application area 



T" 



List down the available Open Source applications 



T' 



f ^ 

Filterthem out based on theirtechnicalfitmentwith existing IT architecture 

V , J 



T" 



Apply 'enterprise litmus test' (read complete text to understand) to shortlisted apps 

V , J 



T" 



implement 

the 
application 



• Forum activity: This is one place 
where you can get lot of information 
about the application. First, check the 
activity on the forum. There has to be a 
sizable number of members and daily 
updates with people asking questions 
and getting answers. Second, check that 
answers should be provided by more 
than one person. It should not be that 
only one person is providing the answers 
to all the questions raised by members. 
Third, look at the kind of questions being 
raised by members. Is there any pat- 
tern? Is there any feature that everyone's 
asking for? Or is there some feature that 
is not working for lots of people? You 
can go ahead and ask questions yourself 
and see what kind of responses you get. 

• Developer background: You need 
to check the background under which 
the application development got started. 
How many people are involved? Are 
they from a common place or whether 
the organisations are spread out? 

It's better if they are spread out. 

• Availability of commercial sup- 
port: First, you have to check if there 
are organisations which provide 
paid support. How is it structured? 
Is it incident-based? Can it be done 
remotely? It's better if there is a mecha- 
nism for commercial support. 

And while all this information 
can be conveniently sourced from the 
developers' site, do not forget to share 
it with the entire eco-system of your 
organisation. We have developed this 
framework based on our experience 
and have shared it with other organisa- 
tions as well. Empirical evidence from 
them also supports the framework. 

By using the above mentioned criteria, 
IT personnel can take informed decision 
regarding the fitment of the particular 
application to an enterprise's require- 
ments. If it does not have a good fit, one 
can still use the application, but in that 
case there will be an impact on TCO. This 
is because one needs to either take 
external help or the IT department will 
have to devote additional time to the 
issues arising from the use of the 
application. El 

Content courtesy: ITNE^IJT 



136 



Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



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pages 44 and 126 of the magazine 



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13 In 1972, which spacecraft 
used the Intel 4004? 



Crack the code 

15 By what name was Wikipedia 
started? 



Programming Principles 




When coding an application, there are a number of approaches that a programmer 
can take. Some of the more popular guidelines help making simpler, faster, easy to 
use programs. 

POGE: stands for "Principle of Good Enough" - it basicaLLy means that if even a basic, 
bareboned approach get's the job done, it's better than a feature rich application. That is, once 
the software starts doing what it is supposed to do, stop developing it and adding in more 
functionality and options. 

DRY: stands for "Don't repeat yourself", which is pretty difficult to comprehend for non- 
programmers. It means that you do not use redundant code and approaches. 

KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid is pretty self explanatory. However, software developers often 
argue that the principle is erroneously named, and the "stupid" should be kicked to make the 
principle just "KIS", for the sake of simplicity. 

RAD: Rapid Application Development is a philosophy used by coders who just want to start 
coding, and let the application evolve over time to whatever it turns out to be without planning 
what it needs to do too much in advance. RAD encourages frenzied coding, which is what many 
programmers do best. 

BDD: Behavior Driven Development is a modern philosophy, emerging to bridge the divide 
between software creation and it's use. The developers often create applications based on an 
understanding of how they would like to use the software, instead of the people who actually buy 
and use the software. BDD seeks extensive feedback from the users during the release cycle. 

BDUF: the Big Design Up Front approach goes against many coding philosophies, including 
POGE and KISS. BDUF calls for developers to plan for complex and large projects well in 
advance, instead of letting a bareboned version evolve overtime. 

XP: eXtereme programming is an approach that allows software to rapidly evolve. All the 
normal procedures of software development are pushed to their extreme limits, with a lot of 
feedback from users, continuous releases, and constant bug fixing, patching and other changes. 



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Flash Games: Vector Runner 




"Vector Runner" is one of those games that you cannot stop playing 
even if your boss is looking over your shoulder and piling work on your 
desk. The game uses basic shapes, a cube as a block, smaller cubes as 
power-ups, and a steady stream of pyramids and rhombuses to dodge. The 
game is addictive because of the three challenges, of how far you can go 
without hitting something. This is one of those games that you can play for 
short bursts whenever you feel like a break. Despite how simple the game 
looks, the gameplay is pretty complex, and the game is by no means easy. 




138 



Digit I June 2010 I www.tlninkdigit.com 



Spiderman 

Energy Usage: 3 kWh/year 

C02: 1.2 Metric Tons 

Largest Impact: Batteries on iiis camera 





Superman 

Energy Usage: 2 l<Wli/year 

C02: 0.8 Metric Tons 

Largest Impact: Flying Unwind 




Carbon footprint of Superheroes 

We have a look at what the common superheroes are up to, and how their activities 
impact the environment 

> 

BATMAN 

Energy Usage: 500,000,000 kWh/year 
C02: 480,000 Metric Tons 

Lai^st Impact: Wayne Industries mining in Africa 

Batman is rich, and a business magnate as well, which automatically makes him one of the most environmentally 
disruptive superheroes around. Iron Man is on the list too, which is why we'll need to calculate. The Bat Cave is 
packed with gadgetry that is sure to require it's own power plant. The upper limit for Batman's needs would be 
the equivalent of 5 Blue Gene computers. Fortunately, these supercomputers don't suck up too much power and 
can be safely ignored when compared to the environmental impact of Wayne Industries. We got our hands on the 
nnual report of Wayne Industries, and they are actively involved in everything from Biotech, to Fuels, to Steel. 
Wayne Industries seems to be at the epicenter of modern Industry, with Activities in more domains than Stark 
Industries. Batman is easily the least eco-friendly superhero, but there is hope for fans. Wayne Chemicals has 
developed a way to generate power from Algae, and is researching alternate fuel sources. 



POISON IVY 

Enei^gy Usage: k Wh/year 
CO2:0 Metric Tons 
Lai^est Impact: None 

Ok, so Poison Ivy is not a superhero, but a 
supervillian. We picked her for this list because 
she is one of the most eco-friendly superhumans 
around. She is the world's best bio-hacker 
and the most aggressive campaigner for 
environmentalism. She wouldn't be happier if all 
the people in the world were replaced with trees, 
plants and other botonical wonders. She's also 
the world's premiere eco-terrorist, with in depth 
knowledge of all kinds of plant based toxins and 
venoms. And unlike Captain Planet, she does 
not get affected by carbon monoxide or other 
greenhouse gasses. In fact, she digs greenhouse 
gases, as they are great for plant life. 



WOLVERINE 

Energy Usage: 500 kWh/year 
C02: 20 Metric Tons 
Lai^est Impact: Fuel for his rides 
Wolverine likes large, fuel guzzling rides, and that 
is the biggest impact he has on the environment. 
When on his 1963 Harley Davidson DuoGlide 
or the Yamaha Yfm350fx, Wolverine rides like a 
maniac. This is apart from all the tertiary damage 
that he does to his environment, especially in 
one of his fits of rage. Wolverine is destructive, 
and often leaves spectacular debris in his wake 
wherever he goes. Statues, Dams, top secret 
military facilities, whatever it is, becomes dust 
once Wolverine is through, adding significant 
amounts of trash to the dumps. 





IRON MAN 



Energy Usage: 300,000,000 kWh/year 
C02: 290,000 Metric Tons 
Largest Impact: The use of Fusion power 
There are a number of subsidary companies, that are 
involved in the manufacturing and supply of munitions 
across a number of countries. Additionally, Stark 
Industries manufacturers a lot of special equipment for 
SHIELD, as well as the Ultimate Avengers. The testing, 
and designing of these products is sure to consume a lot of 
resources. Moreover the interfaces and operating systems 
that Iron Man uses is definitely processor intensive, 
and is sure to be a hog when it comes to electricity 
and bandwidth. The back-ends for all these systems 
probably run in servers that must be massive energy 
holes. However, the use of fusion power in at least some 
of the facilities dramatically decreases the environmental 
impact of Iron Man. If it were not for the Arc Reactor used 
to power at least one facility. Iron Man's footprint would 
have been larger than Batman's. 



Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



139 



Community 



Acer Lumiread 

Acer Launches it's first 6-incli e-reader device- 
LumiRead expected iiit markets by Q3 2010 



Facebook gets private 

FacebQol< announces eniianced privacy 
features tiiat Lets users manage tLieir private 
information more efficientLy 



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14 WLiicLi computer was used to 
design tLie first H-Bomb? 



Crack the code 

12 Name tLie company tLiat came up 
witLi tLie first GUI 




Community DVD 



Over tine past few months, the Digit Community 
has become more activeLy invoLved in the produc- 
tion process of the magazine. An entire section on the 
Community DVD is fuLL of content created by Digit Forum members 
or readers who have maiLed in. These range from video reviews of 
spanking new hardware (no Less than the iPad), to pLug-ins and add- 
ons specificaLLy coded for the Digit Forums. The By Demand section 
has content from the thread of the same name on the Digit Forums. 
This thread is hosted every month, and readers discuss the contents 
of the Magazine, the Fast Track and the DVDs as they are done. 

Other than these, this month, we decided to feature the peopLe 
behind Digit in a rather funny Light - check out the awesomeLy 
funny videos aLso in the DVD. Don't miss the video cover, which has 
video snippets of readers on how important Digit is in their Lives. 
We encourage you to get invoLved. MaiL in your demos, short fiLms, 
appLications and other forms of content to DVD@thinkdigit.com, and 
we'LL put them in the DVDs. 



140 



Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



Digit Seeds 

Reversing the environmental damage we cause is 
the only way to ensure a sustainable future for 
humanity. All the electronics we use, all the cars 
we drive take a tool on the environment. Do your bit. Go 
and plant a Digit Tree! 

The Digit Trees are among the few trees that grow 
into full-sized trees from small seeds. There are two 
kinds of seeds included in the packaging, they are the 
Jacaranda and the Cassia Siamea. The pretty Jacaranda 
tree is best known for its bluish purplish flowers, while 
the Cassia Siamea is known for it's fast growth, and the 
height, as these trees can easily reach 30 feet in height. 
To plant the trees follow these simple steps: 

• Take a small container which is roughly 2-inch in ra- 
dius and 2-inch in depth, (a typical dahi/curd container 
will do just fine) 

• Put some soft soil in it. Avoid sand. 

• Plant a few seeds at a depth of about 1cm under the 
surface. 

• Water the seeds once a day for a week. Put enough 
water to keep the soil damp. 

• Keep the cup next to a window sill with decent amount 
of sunlight. Avoid keeping it under the sun all day. 

• The saplings should sprout in a week or two. 

• Transplant the saplings to a garden and continue 
watering. 

• Over time they will flourish and grow into glorious 
life-giving giants. They will naturally propagate, and in 
the process decreasing your carbon footprint further, 
over time. This is a community effort. Let's all do our 
bit and add to our planet's green cover. 




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7 What is the first Open Source 
gaming console caLLed? 



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10 SoLve the two part puzzLe in pages 
44 and 126 of the magazine 



Crack the code 

9 The element representated with it's 
electron configuration somewhere in 
the Digit Tree Project article 



Interesting user reviews on the Thinkdigit Forum www.thinkdigit.com/forum 

, Lj 13-05-2010, 03:08 PM 

^^^ The Sorcerer g 

^^^B99|^J Alpha Geek 
\\_ Gigabyte 890GPA-UD3H Review 



Join Date; May 2008 
Posts; 830 




We'LL be seeing a Lot of new boards from different manufacturers with 
different form factors and features since AMD have introduced new 
northbridge and Southbridge. 

This board comes with HT 3.0 support and the new AMD 890GX/ 
SB850 chipset with an on-board HD 4290 (RV620 core) 700MHz core 
clock that can run hybrid crossfire with ATi 5450. Just like the 880g, 
890GX supports UVD2, DVD upscaling and out-of-the-box X 6 support. 
The chipset can accommodate D-SUB, DVI, HDMI and Display Port, but 
no dual display option. The Northbridge can run pcie xl6 2.0 with a single 
card and pcie x8 on a crossfire setup. 

Coming towards the Southbridge, the SB850 supports upto 6 sata 6 
GB/s, upto 14 USB 2.0, gigabit Ethernet, HD Audio and it holds on to sup- 
port FDD/IDE as well. 

The board I will be reviewing is a mainstream model- Gigabyte 
890GPA-UD3H. This is aimed to be a mainstream model to target hard- 
ware enthusiasts, gamers and overclockers (or all of above), fulfilling 
what Matx boards couldn't and filling the "void" between a low end and a 
high end/expensive motherboard. 



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My Desktop Contest 

These are some of the coolest desktop entries we received for our 
My Desktop contest. Upload yours to www.facebook.com/thinkdigit. 
Exciting prizes to be won! 




Himanshu Rao's desktop - Using Stackdocks docklet in RocketDock, 
Rainmeter, Circle Dock, and custom icons and Start button 




Nesar Alam Ansari's desktop - 
Yahoo! Widgets 



Using AveDesk, WindowBlinds and 



CTCii 



Crack the code 

CTC II is here, And we have made it bigger, Better, And 
much more difficult this time around. To start off, You need to 
assemble the crossword that is strewn about the magazine. Do 
not cut the magazine under any circumstances. You never know 
what part might be required Later on. Trace the blocks, SoLve 
the puzzLe, Tlien answer the crossword. Hint: If you refer to the 
board game. You will find it easier to solve the crossword. You 
will need to keep the entire crossword ready when the online 
segment of CTC II opens up on June 7th. You will need to figure 
out the url to which you have to go to on the 7th. The trail for 
this url starts here: count the number of Android applications 
featured in the top 50 mobile applications fe ature, add one to 
that number, and flip to that page. 




Radha Krishnan's desktop - Using Windows 7, Rainmeter, Windows 
gadgets and Windows Media Player 



142 



Digit I June 2010 I www.thinkdigit.com 



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The essential Gaming Glossary 

Gamers generally abuse really hard, lol whenever possible, and use a large number of 
terms that are unique to a game. For example, a decal can mean a different thing in a rac- 
ing game and a MMORPG. Here are a list of commonly used terms across all of gaming. 



Gaming Lingo 

• nOOb: someone who is new at gaming, 
or a particular game, a newbie. 



• pwn: pwn is "own" and pronounced in 
many ways, including "own", "pwun" and 
even "pwnnn". Pwnage or ownage means 
total defeat, or complete victory by a wide 
margin. The p is there just because it's 
next to the o on the keyboard. 

• !!!11!!!1112: emphasis or explanation. 
Any series of ones, exclamation marks, 
and the odd 2 will do. If you need to chat 
while gaming, you need to be quick, 
hence the high acceptance of typos 

• nerd rage: pretty self explanatory, 
the state of mind of a noob when he gets 
pwnd. Also occors when facing a camper 
in a sniper map, or when there is a lag 

• gib: making an enemy break into flesh, 
bone and a puff of blood 

• frag: killing someone in a game is 
known as a frag 

• camp: standing one one place, waiting 
to make a kill, something frowned upon 
by everyone, and is the other main reason 
for nerd rage, apart from being pwnd 

• lag: a situation where the gameplay on 
the screen is behind the gameplay on the 



server, or the output is not keeping pace 
with the inputs 

• twitch: a twitch is an almost sub-con- 
scious reaction, as in jerking the mouse 
for a fast frag. Guns that kill instantly 




(instagib !!!11!) require Twitch reflexes, 
a common example being the railgun in 
Quake 3, shown here. 

• spray: just firing in the general direc- 
tion of an enemy, instead of aiming 
precisely, the typical behavior of camping 
noobs 

Gaming Technology 

• Engine: The engine is the virtual envi- 
ronment within the game, which displays 
the elements of the game, contains the 
physics engine, all the models, the way 
the weapons behave, and the maps, or 
rooms where the gameplay occurs. The 
Cryengine 3 is one of the most advanced 
gaming engines in development. 

• Releases: There are many versions of 
a game, and many releases. The Alpha 
release is an early testing release, the Beta 



version is typically for a closed communi- 
ty of testers. A demo is a limited version 
of the game so buyers can try the game 
out. A mod is a third party modification 
of the game, or built over a game engine. 
Crysis, GTA, Quake, and Half Life have 
many mods. Counter Strike being the 
most famous, a mod of Half Life. Patches 
are incremental releases to fix bugs and 
improve gameplay. A port allows a game 
to be played on a console or platform it 
was not specifically designed for. 

• Console: The console is the device used 
to play the game. The PC, XBOX, PlaySta- 
tion, and Wii are the common consoles. 
Handheld consoles include the Nintendo 
DS, the Sony PSP, devices such as the 
iPad or the iPhone and various mobile 
phones. 




Consume media on the move 

^ yi uxic and videos are not the only 

/I things that you can consume K ■ UsIng PodcastS 

I during transit or travelling long tP Podcasts are audio feeds of 

distances. Podcasts, audiobooks and content, typically recorded in a formi 

e-books can be an educational as well as similar to a radio broadcast, 

a fun way to pass the time. Most PMPs Step 1: Copy the Podcasts into you 

have native support for PDF readers and PMP It is best to segregate podcasts 

audiobooks. There are software available respective folders, 

that let's you consume these media on Step 2: Look for the podcast optior 

mobile phones as well. This guide covers your PMP menu, if it is not there, pla 

audiobooks, ebooks and podcasts. For the file as any other audio file 

using videos, transcode using Aneesoft Step 3: Make sure that the PMP mi 

HD Video Converter, a licensed version is not set to random or shuffle, to mi 

of which is on the Community DVD. sure the series is not interrupted 



Step 2: Look for the podcast option 



the file as any other audio file 
Step 3: Make sure that the PMP mode 
is not set to random or shuffle, to make 
sure the series is not interrupted 



— Using 
Audiobooks 

Audiobooks are readings of literary works, 
that are recorded and distributed in a 
digital format. Most modern PMPs have 
an option in the menu for Audiobooks. 
Phones do not support the large sizes. 
Step 1: There are a few audiobooks 
in the Mindware DVD. Extract these to 
a folder on your system, then copy to 
your PMR 

Step 3: Play back the files sequentially 
to listen to the audiobook. Some PMPs 
have a bookmark feature, or simply use 



Using eBooks 

All the eBooks in the Mindware DVD are 
in .pdf format. Adobe Reader LE, which 
is in the Community DVD, is the ideal 
software to use to read PDF files on 
mobile platforms. A few PMPs support 
PDFs. 

Step 1: Identify the files you want to 
read, and copy these to your device. 
Step 2: Install Adobe Reader LE if it 
is a mobile platform. There are PDF 
readers available for obscure platforms 
as well. 

Step 3: Change the display settings till 
you have a comfortable font size 



144 



Digit I June 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 



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15 billion intelligent connected devices! Imagine the possibilities. 
Enter the embedded internet era at intel.com/embedded/15billion 
For more design inf ormatioa please visit edc.intel.com 

For Sales Information Contact: 

Rakesh Arora, WPG ELECTRONICS (INDIA) PVT, LTD, D 1 1 5, 1 st Floor Okhia Industrial Area, Phase - 1 , New Delhi - 1 1 0024. 
Ph: +91 -1 1 -2581 01 75, Fax: +91-11 -2681 01 79, Mobile: +91 981 00 07545, E-mail: rakesh.arora@sa,wpgholdings,com 



* The Embedded Internet Methodology and Findings, John Gantz, IDC, January 2009. 
Intel and the Intel logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. © 2009 Intel Corporation. All rights reserved.